Test data discipline. A Wakanda moment.


I probably sound like a broken record on this, but don’t use characters from movies or famous people’s images in your test or demo system (actually don’t use any images that you don’t have rights to). You typically don’t have permission to do, and the last you want is a bunch of Disney or Marvel lawyers chasing you for copyright and trademark infringement, or if it involves personal data, the data protection regulators. Brad Pitt didn’t give informed consent to for you to use his name and photo in your demo system.

Check this story in the Guardian today. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/18/wakanda-usda-trade-agriculture-black-panther

Until Wednesday, the made-up east African country was listed on the drop-down menu for the agriculture department’s foreign agricultural service’s tariff tracker along with Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.

The department (USDA) said the comic book country was added to its systems while it conducted testing.

“Over the past few weeks, the foreign agricultural service staff who maintain the tariff tracker have been using test files to ensure that the system is running properly,” Mike Illenberg, a USDA spokesman, told NBC. “The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down.”

While the choice of test data is poor, I worry even more about the fact that test data found its way into the production system. This highlights a deeper problem in testing practice. I wonder how this department is managing data transports, security etc.
End of rant.