Final Word from Thursday, December 15, 2016

When the finance ministry announced plans last week for an EET receipt Iottery, it told a half-truth. It said the objective was to get people to ask for receipts. Czech TV made this same half-truth its lead news item last night, and Dep. Finance Min. Alena Schi­llerová repeated it three times on the late-night news. But if getting people to take a receipt were the only aim, it would be enough for the ministry to announce winning numbers. Everyone with a receipt would be a potential winner. Instead, only those who enter their personal details and a 16-character receipt code will be eligible. This will allow the tax office to find retailers who create fake codes. Bohuslav Sobotka acknowledged to HN that one reason for the lottery is to make EET inspections easier. When people register millions of receipts, he said, tax offices get a huge amount of data without sending anyone out into the field. This is the other half-truth: Rewards for ratting are being paid so that Big Data can be collected. The only remaining question is, Who else other than tax offices and Agrofert will have access to the data? [Czech Republic online sales reporting system drawings]

Glossary of difficult words

to rat - (informal) to inform on someone;

EET - online sales-reporting system;

in the field - away from the laboratory, office, or studio;

Big Data - extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, esp. relating to human behavior and interactions.

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