Lawyers are beginning to focus on the issue of the hidden metadata that is carried by documents, particularly those generated by Microsoft products. This “metadata” includes both information contained in prior drafts, comments, information about authors and sources and other items that can result in embarrassing and damaging disclosures. I’m aware of several firms that have attacked this problem at a variety of levels. In general, however, these solutions have addressed solely Microsoft Word documents. Unfortunately, much embarrassing and damaging metadata can be found in both Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides and dealing only with Word Documents will leave a serious hole in your overall effort to scrub out metadata.
There is good news from KKL software. ezClean scrubs Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and integrates with Outlook, allowing you to scrub documents as you e-mail them. You can download a 45-day free eval copy of ezClean and KKL Software’s other useful utilities. The metadata issue is one issue on which lawyers should be in the forefront.