Sad but true

Some things just can’t be anonymized.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Suburban high school wants to set up a tip line that students can text to if they are depressed or stressed out, or if they are concerned about another student who might be. So this pilot fish is asked to find an app that will connect the students with professionals who can help them, while keeping the students’ identities completely anonymous.

She narrows the choice to several apps and runs them by the assistant principal for his OK.

His problem with the options: None gives him the phone number of the person initiating the contact. Fish tells him that providing that information isn’t consistent with saying that submissions are anonymous. But he insists: He wants to follow up with each student.

Fish notes that word will quickly spread that the tip line isn’t really anonymous, rendering it pretty useless.

Now the choice seems to be between useless tip line and no tip line at all. No tip line wins the day.

Sharky wants your tips — your true tales of IT life, that is. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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