Office e-documents & Metadata
Do we share metadata?
Yes, we do, it may be knowingly or unknowingly. Take the case, that you share electronic versions of your documents (may be legal documents too). Along with that even without your knowledge you may supply more information.
What is a Metadata:
Whenever you create, open, or save a document in Microsoft Word, the document may store information, which is know as metadata. Even we had no intention of including or disclosing.
What it is used for?
Metadata is used for a variety of legitimate purposes, and it adds functionality to the editing, viewing, filing, and retrieving capabilities of Microsoft Office.
However, if some of this information is passed on to inappropriate parties (for example, opposing counsel), that disclosure can create adverse consequences for you and your client. In order to avoid these consequences, you should make yourself familiar with the types of metadata contained in your documents and take steps to remove it whenever necessary.
Some examples of metadata that may be stored in your documents
Some metadata is readily accessible through the user interface of each Office program. Other metadata is only accessible through extraordinary means, such as opening a document in a low-level, binary file editor. Some examples of metadata that may be stored in your documents are,
- Your name
- Your initials
- Your company or organization name
- The name of your computer
- The name of the network server or hard disk where you saved the document
- Other file properties and summary information
- Non-visible portions of embedded OLE objects
- The names of previous document authors
- Document revisions
- Document versions
- Template information
- Hidden text or cells
- Personalized views
How we can minimize metadata in Office documents?
We need to be careful when we share the electronic versions of the documents. Because some metadata is readily accessible through the user interface of each Office program or extraordinary means; please refer the following article which talks how we can minimize metadata in Office documents.