“There are different considerations for database content and the rare proprietary system; but, for your run-of-the-mill Windows or Mac operating system, this is just common sense that seems to be uncommonly absent. I ask you, Dear Reader, what moves lawyers to be so obtuse about something that is so freaking easy to understand if they gave it the slightest fraction of a brain cell and a minute’s thought? Application metadata is in the file; system metadata is the tracking information that’s outside the file and key to the identification and origination of the file. NOT. ROCKET. SCIENCE.”
My response? They haven’t given it the fraction of a brain cell and moment’s thought that he asks for. In general, lawyers got so used to pages with numbers at the bottom of them that anything outside of that scope, just makes their eyes glaze over. The idea that clients might be altering metadata, and why that might be a terrible thing, doesn’t occur to them. Until it does, and usually that’s when someone files a complaint.
And when someone files a complaint, their first response is what the insurance company did in the case Craig is writing about, claim that producing metadata is burdensome and not relevant.
But if they had kept it in mind from the start, it wouldn’t be either of those things. It’s actually pretty simple, if you’re paying attention to it from the beginning, but it is absolutely a pain to go back and try to recreate!