Falsifying electronic records has been a problem ever since they entered our everyday business lives. Time after time, we’ve seen instances where individuals maliciously tamper with IP ownership documents, contracts, budget numbers and other forms of electronic evidence. While these are all undesirable scenarios that have serious financial, legal and regulatory consequences, tampering of these records rarely results in injury or death. Some electronic records, however, are actually used in highly regulated industries to ensure safety of everyday citizens. Dependent on industry, these records might log things like hours worked, compliance training and safety procedures — all things that impact job performance and on-the-job safety.
Unfortunately, when records of this nature are purposefully altered, the consequences can be grave. Take Gulfstream International Airlines for example. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, current and former employees allege that the airline tampered with electronic flight logs and falsified flight hours in order to allow pilots to fly additional hours than the federal safety rules allow.
“Mary Hebig, who worked as a crew-scheduling supervisor at the carrier from March 2005 to July 2007, said in an interview that the flight-dispatch department frequently and retroactively changed flight hours in the computer system without conferring with pilots or with her department.
When an initial check of computerized schedules showed that certain pilots had run out of allowable flight hours, according to Ms. Hebig, ‘dispatch would call back and say, check them again.’ Often, it was apparent the numbers had been changed between calls and ‘suddenly, the crew had a rebirth; they were now legal to fly’ more trips, she alleged.”