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Monday, October 11, 2010

Washington state high court rules metadata are public records

from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:
The Washington Supreme Court upheld Thursday an appellate court’s ruling that metadata -- information related to the history, tracking or management of an electronic document -- is a public record subject to disclosure under the state Public Records Act.
The ruling involved a 2006 case in which Shoreline, Wash., resident Beth O’Neill sued under the Public Records Act to obtain metadata detailing the senders and recipients of a string of e-mails sent to Shoreline Deputy Mayor Maggie Fimia that accused the city council of being “dysfunctional.”


In writing for the majority, Justice Susan Owens stated: "Metadata may contain information that relates to the conduct of government and is important for the public to know. It could conceivably include information about whether a document was altered, what time a document was created, or who sent a document to whom."
Read more here.

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