General metadata definition
Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Meta is a prefix that denotes in IT sector "an underlying definition or description.” Usually metadata have a form of hidden data, while other data represent the visible content of the file/document. According to general understanding, the two types of metadata exist: structural metadata and descriptive metadata. Structural metadata gives an information about the containers of data. Descriptive metadata highlights individual instances of application data or the data content. In analogue world, metadata
Typical examples of documents file metadata is (e.g., in Word document): author’s name, author’s organization, date or time of the document’s creation/modification, file size etc. Option to read, edit or filter through these metadata by MetaWiper makes it much easier for layman user to locate a specific document/file and its metadata.
Why are metadata important for internet file transactions?
Metadata security is the crucial question for any internet files transaction. Each emailed document holds more information than sender is capable to see/observe. Metadata information are usually hidden and user doesn’t have knowledge about their existence. Therefore, metadata management is important not only for big corporations, but also relevant for individuals. This field usually outlines best practices and policies designed to protect files owner from security risks posed by unauthorized access to information contained in the files’ metadata. It is known that poor data quality costs the typical company at least 10 – 15 percent of revenue. According to software marketing and technology expert Hollis Tibbetts, “Incorrect, inconsistent, fraudulent and redundant data cost the U.S. economy over $3 Trillion a year.” Typical example of user’s misunderstanding of the metadata presence is situation, when user sends the draft of a contract (e.g. Word document) to counterparty and unwillingly discloses more information than was his contractual intention (e.g., information about who helped to draft the contract, where was contract drafted, how long was contract drafted). This puts user in disadvantageous position due the existence of the technology, which tracks each step in the file’s metadata. The technology in this case is not bad nor good, it is neutral. But ignorance of this fact is similar to showing our hand-written notes to our business partners. Sometimes we would like to keep our strategies secret (know-how). It helps to improve our competence capabilities and keeps the competition fair (e.g., when two corporations share the relevant commercial information within metadata – signalling).
Each file format is based on its own technical standards which create the structure of metadata. Advantage of online tool like MetaWiper is that you don’t have to care about new metadata standards. You don’t have to buy new updates or upgrades. New file formats standards will be be automatically included in our MetaWiper engine. We try to cover every major office software and also portable documents formats. Also, we are developing new engines for graphic (photographic and video) file formats.