Arizona Court Says Metadata On Public Records Is Public As Well

from the lobbyists-rushing-to-scrub-metadata dept

An interesting ruling in the Arizona Supreme Court found that the metadata on a public record should be public as well — so people could, conceivably, look at who created certain documents and when they were created. While that might not seem like a big deal, as the article link above describes, plenty of interesting data often can be found in the metadata — such as what lobbyist wrote up what documents for other organizations to send. While this only applies in Arizona right now, you have to imagine that lobbyists are quickly learning how to better scrub metadata off their astroturfing letters.

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Comments on “Arizona Court Says Metadata On Public Records Is Public As Well”

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Fred McTaker (profile) says:


Does this carry any explicit or implicit penalty for metadata falsification or spoofing? A recent case showed that astroturfing lobbyists even used false letterhead in faxes, to send letters to congress members as other “grassroots” organizations, to fraudulently attribute “grassroots” support to their own messages. Most Spam exists by falsified header data, so I’m pretty sure lobbyists know how to falsify data. I want to make sure they can be punished for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here’s a problem with all this: What happened to the concept of private communications?

Will freedom of speech be lost if people’s personal opinions expressed to representatives or to government agencies becomes public record? Where does it stop? Would my request for a clarification on my properties taxes become public record?

I think the court sort of missed the boat on this one.

On the plus side, you got to use Metadata in a headline. SEO score!

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