Anonymizing digitally accessible documents with SmartDocuments

Anonymizing digitally accessible documents with SmartDocuments blog banner

When honoring a request for information, you remove any information traceable to individuals from a document. With our Anonymize functionality, you have the option to anonymize both specific fields and all variables in a document. What do we mean by 'all variables'? And how do we ensure that the end result remains a digitally accessible document? You can read about that in this blog.

Previously, we described how to prepare a SmartDocuments document in case of a request for information. In that blog article, you read that the template builder can set up document templates for anonymization in two ways. The first option is to highlight specific fields in our SmartEditor to prepare for anonymization. The second option is in SmartControl, preparing all variables in a template or template group for anonymization.

Anonymizing all variables in a document

When we refer to "all variables" in the second option, we mean all data coming from your case system or DMS, as well as all information from databases. This group also includes data entered into a document through our SmartWizard, as well as variables from a user group or template group, for example. It encompasses all data that is, in most cases, traceable to individuals, as well as the metadata or document properties. If it is not necessary to anonymize all this information and data, you can select only the specific fields that need to be anonymized in our SmartEditor. While doing so, make sure the checkmark (for all variables) in SmartControl is unchecked :-).

A digitally accessible, anonymized document

As previously mentioned, the document properties of the document are also anonymized. However, three fields remain unchanged: the title, author and language of the document. These document properties are required by accessibility guidelines to ensure the document is digitally accessible.

In the anonymized document, a black bar (with a fixed size) appears in the place of the removed data. Here, too, we have considered the digital accessibility of the document by attaching an explanatory description to the black bar. This explanatory description is for example 'blacked out' or 'removed when anonymized'. You can add a modified description of your choosing, as long as it clearly indicates that something has been removed due to anonymization. Think of it as a kind of alt text. This is the description that reading software will read out. This way, someone using screen reader software will also be aware that information has been removed.

This makes the anonymized document compliant with accessibility guidelines - at least if it also was before anonymization. This way, you do not have to compromise on the accessibility of the document when anonymizing it.

Would you like to see how to anonymize a document with SmartDocuments? Contact us for a demo!