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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Metadata (All Word versions)

    I have read about and know about "metadata" in Word documents. To me, this issue seems significant. Even after showing examples of metadata, I have some people that think it is not big deal.

    Do you have any metadata stories you can share? What metadata was discovered and some of the consequences?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    Alcatel's unfortunate mistake has been preserved at http://web.morons.org/article.jsp?sectionid=1&id=188

    StuartR

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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    Microsoft were caught recently in an advertising campaign over switching from Mac to PC. They used a testimonial from a user that had switched over. The problem was the testimonial was from a woman who happened to be working on the ad campaign for Microsoft. It was publicised in the press (including Woodys newsletters I think). That cost Microsoft some serious money as the ad campaign was pulled as a result.

    The only occurrence I have personally seen have been a Powerpoint file which was providing feedback on a proposal we had submitted. The slides were all addressed to our proposal but the speakers notes were all addressed to a competitor's proposal. I guess this did no serious damage but was of great interest to our marketeers.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    We are a medium size law firm. Law firms consider metadata to be tremendous risk - we cannot afford to use Client A's contract for Client B and Client B become privy to Client A's details. Although we'd prefer attorneys not "re-use" documents - they do. So we have strict publishing policy - either PDF the word doc or scrub it for metadata before sending out.

  5. #5
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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    I understand the risks ... I am looking for more ammunition to convince my law firm clients.

  6. #6
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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    I think it's especially fun with Law Firm A sends me a document whose properties clearly indicate it was an edited version of a document from Law Firm B. Each person will draw their own conclusions from this, but it's hard to think of a case in which it's a good conclusion. ("Smart enough to steal their forms from the best" just doesn't sound like the best advertising.)

  7. #7
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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    I guess it will depend upon whether they're smart (knowledgeable) enough to know what they can steal without consequence, or smart (cheeky) enough to do it blindly and hope they can get away with it ;-)

    Alan

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    Re: Metadata (All Word versions)

    Try this site for a copy of the "Word of Law" article from Woody's -- it provides additional resources on the subject as well. Further, you may check with your state's Bar -- many states have CLE classes on the metadata issue and the liability it poses to firms which choose to ignore the risks. While there is the potential for Client A / Client B hypothesis you describe, much more worrisome is the threat to Work Product and Attorney Client Confidentiality privileges and the liability risk it poses to your attorneys.
    Karen

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