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January 17, 13

NEWS / Computer glitch causes mix-up in Pennsylvanian birth certificates

Pennsylvania’s Department of Vital Statistics has acknowledged that it issued some 500 birth certificates containing a very notable error. Namely, a computer glitch is said to have caused the name of newborn’s father to be printed incorrectly.

The mishap happened because of an error in the new software that is used to issue certificates, department spokesperson Holli Senior noted. The software was supposed to pull the fathers’ names from other state records, but instead ended up pulling data from other areas of the birth certificates causing the names to be printed incorrectly.

Senior claimed the accident only affected 500 birth certificates and said that the affected individuals have already been informed as to how they can replace their erroneous certificate with a proper one.

“We were able to identify all affected individuals, and there was a letter that went out to those individuals that explained the error and requested that they return the incorrect birth certificate in a postage paid envelope that we enclosed, so that we can expedite the corrected birth certificate,” Senior stated, as quoted by local newspaper The Tribune Democrat.

Rectifying the mistake shouldn’t be a difficult task, as the problem only affected printed certificates, and not their electronic versions, the spokesperson said.

She also noted that there was a small chance that the incorrect information could be used “inappropriately”, but stressed that using it for the purpose of fraud would be difficult, as only the field with the father’s name, and not his date or place of birth, was affected.

The software vendor responsible for the program that produced the error has reportedly corrected the glitch. However, the department is still trying to figure out if the incorrect names were extracted from the same record, or if they identified another living person.

Tags: birth certificates, birth certificat, birth certificate,


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