Friday, December 23, 2005

Be Careful with Metadata

Saw this news article today about analysts warning of potential problems Vista may cause for companies who will 'tag' their documents with metadata and the potential leeking of information to a client this might bring.

This made me think of current real world examples with Sharepoint document libaries that many companies and indeed some of my clients would be facing.
Think of a sales teamsite where a proposal is written and tagged with the opportunity metadata like,
- Client
- Opp Status (Cool, Med, Hot)
- Budget ($$$)
- Notes (notes about the client/op)

This is not the kind of information you want to be conveyed to your clients.
Sharepoint with any MS office document, will tag these keywords in the file (check the properties tab of a file from a Sharepoint library if your unsure how this could be dug up).

Granted that most proposals are converted to pdf before being sent to the client (where the tags are removed) but I'm sure many other examples of sensitively tagged MSoffice documents could have gone out with the tags still on them...
So the lesson in all of this is to be careful with the tags you define and indeed the processes that are followed in distributing documents from a Sharepoint library.

Here's the news article on Vista.
http://news.com.com/Watch+out+with+metadata+in+Vista%2C+analysts+warn/2100-1012_3-6006290.html

Have a good chrissy and new years everyone......

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