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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Metadata Not Public, AZ Judge Rules

A divided Arizona appellate court ruled Tuesday that hidden electronic data that indicates how and when documents are produced with word processing computer programs aren't themselves public records.

The three-judge Court of Appeals panel's majority opinion rejected a dissenting judge's argument that a Phoenix police officer was entitled to "metadata" for notes written by a supervisor of the officer.

Metadata is data embedded in documents to track authors, when something was saved and what changes were made. Metadata isn't visible when a document is printed on paper nor does it appear on screen in normal settings.

The officer, David Lake, said he wanted the notes' metadata to see if the supervisor had backdated the notes to prior to Lake being demoted.

More here.

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