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Anonymized data in Czechia

O Tristan Florian
Jan 8 · 2 min read

Kurim is a small town in Czechia with a population of ten thousand people which serves partly as a suburb of Brno, Czechia’s second most populous city.

In 2018, there was a tender for a new principal of one of the elementary schools. Since my family had a conflict with the previous principal, I was interested in whether he tried to compete with other candidates. Therefore, I wrote to Kurim’s city office that I would like them to send me the protocol of the meeting where it had been decided who should be the next principal.

They wrote to me that they can send me the protocol in anonymized form only, without the information about the candidates. However, they sent it to me in a Word Document, and they probably thought it is a good idea to use Text Highlight feature in Word to anonymize information.

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(In Czechia, everybody uses their academic degrees everywhere. From Wikipedia: “Czechs are very proud of their academic degrees and titles. Therefore, its omission is considered disrespectful.”)

The only thing I had to do to get the information I needed was to use the Text Highlight feature myself.

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And it was done.

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(I blurred the screenshot.)

I found out that the previous principal left the position voluntarily and didn’t want to compete with the other candidates. But most importantly, I found out that Czech officials probably don’t know how to use a computer.

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