• Insights

Chrome Extension Draftback Can Expose Your Metadata

Brian Podolsky

< 1 min read

All Insights

Could you imagine what an attorney would say if the opposing counsel were able to look back and see exactly how a particular document was created? All the edits? Played out in real-time, as if standing behind the attorney while the document was being drafted?

That’s exactly what a new Google Chrome extension Draftback can do to any document in your possession created with Google Docs.  The Next Web’s Mic Wright describes the details in this article that caught our eyes. This kind of information just goes to show you what platform vendors may be tracking, and how important it is to control your content and remove metadata.  It also is a warning for any practicing attorneys who may be leveraging Google Docs for their productivity suite. Maybe look into Office 365 instead!

Folks in legal technology should be very familiar with the term “metadata.” My favorite definition of metadata is “information about information” (which, itself, is very meta!). Over the past few years the term “metadata” has popped up in the mainstream news with regard to telecommunication companies sharing metadata with the NSA. Typically, the metadata of Enterprise content is used to categorize and manage what would otherwise be unstructured data. Metadata in content management systems can include items such as: Document Name, Author, Document Type, Client, Matter, Date Created, Date Modified, among many other custom classifications.

The main point here is that metadata is important, and it can be powerful in understanding details about certain items. This is why many law firms use some sort of metadata scrubber when sending documents to external clients or opposing counsel. Attorneys want to make sure that others cannot see any track changes, comments, or other potentially hidden metadata that could be exposed by the recipient of a document.