This post highlights a post I included in Blawg Review #155 and a related post I ran across since then. Both concern how to stay out of trouble regarding electronic data.
The first, featured in my previous post, is The Multipass Erasures Myth from EDD Update, a blog about electronic data discovery. Just how much “scrubbing” of your hard drive does it take for that data on your hard drive to be unrecoverable? I think you’re going to be surprised at the answer.
The second is a post on the ethics of mining metadata in documents received from adverse parties. What is metadata? Well, the Wikipedia article on metadata is a tad geeky, so let’s go for now with what I consider a safe layman’s definition of metadata, especially for purposes of the post I am talking about: “any about the stored electronically in the document file and not visible in the viewed document.” In a document saved in multiple versions in a single file, this might include the previous versions, the identities of everyone who worked on the document, creation and modification dates, comments by reviewers, etc. When it comes to documents received electronically from adverse parties, there’s obvious potential for mischief, as Robert Ambrogi points out in Metadata: Read at Your Own Risk, referencing a report from a bar organization in New York that he found at Legalethics.com.