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Metadata In Arizona Public Records Can't Be Withheld

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the never-met-a-data dept.

Government 103

jasonbuechler writes in with news of the first state to declare that metadata is part of public records and must be released when the records are. "Hidden data embedded in electronic public records must be disclosed under Arizona's public records law, the state Supreme Court said Thursday... The Supreme Court's unanimous decision, which overturned lower court rulings, is believed to be the first by a state supreme court on whether a public records law applies to so-called metadata. 'This is at the cutting edge — it's the law trying to catch up with technology,' [one lawyer said]. The Arizona ruling came in a case involving a demoted Phoenix police officer's request for data embedded in notes written by a supervisor. The officer got a printed copy but said he wanted the metadata to see whether the supervisor backdated the notes to before the demotion."

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Just a part (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925799)

of an ordinary "Audit Trail". Now, you don't have to rely on manual log-entries and sign-out sheets.

Re:Just a part (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925953)

of an ordinary "Audit Trail". Now, you don't have to rely on manual log-entries and sign-out sheets.

It says a lot that this actually went to court in the first place, let alone that it went to the state Supreme Court. What part of "public record" needed clarification, exactly?

Re:Just a part (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926231)

The part that gave rights to the public instead of some corporation. The judges just couldn't wrap their minds around that,

Re:Just a part (4, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927017)

You apparently have never filed a FOIA request anywhere. Government is at least as secretive as private industry.

In this case, clearly the police department didn't want to expose things such as 'when' and 'where', just the 'what' and 'who'. Add those other two items, and the 'why' becomes more evident.

Good job, though. Hope it works out for him.

Re:Just a part (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929349)

You apparently have never filed a FOIA request anywhere. Government is at least as secretive as private industry.

In this case, clearly the police department didn't want to expose things such as 'when' and 'where', just the 'what' and 'who'. Add those other two items, and the 'why' becomes more evident.

Good job, though. Hope it works out for him.

It was a rhetorical question. I know how things actually are. It's in contrast to how things should be. Applying the expectation of how things should be is how that can be changed.

A big step forward for freedom (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925805)

These "meatadactals" are where the Italian spies hide their tracking devices and computer code viruses to steal our manhood away from us real Americans.

Re:A big step forward for freedom (0, Offtopic)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925875)

Timon! Pumbaa! The words to that song ARE NOT "Vagina Dentata"! [wikipedia.org]

Re:A big step forward for freedom (0, Offtopic)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926215)

I don't know what kind of American you are, but I have plenty of manhood to go around. I really don't mind sharing my mahood with the Italians [boreme.com] at all. I assure you, it's all in the interest of international relations and world peace. :)

New kikes!! Show your kike pride! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925861)

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/10/28/new.and.emergent.jews/index.html

Re:New kikes!! Show your kike pride! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927957)

Haha, I actually just finished reading that. The comments are great. So many people freaking out because a jew with a tattoo made it to the front page of CNN.

I also lol'd every time I saw them spell it 'G-d'. Apparently, "The general concern with writing G-d in its true form is that it might be erased, defaced by being crossed out or scribbled upon [...]," but I'd be thoroughly shocked if there was no backlash to someone taking a dump on a piece of paper with 'G-d' written on it.

Smart police officer (5, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925863)

Probably deserves a promotion.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925895)

since he was demoted, wouldn't that put him back to where he was at?

Re:Smart police officer (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925945)

You get a lollipop for getting the joke.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926145)

You get a lollipop for getting the joke.

But since I just took his original lollipop from him, doesn't that mean that he's back where he started?

Re:Smart police officer (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930115)

Careful ... what shape is that lollipop? [msn.com]

Re:Smart police officer (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930221)

If gabereiser is an adult, it really doesn't matter. Thanks for the non sequitur though, they are always appreciated.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

jep77 (1357465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925909)

To the computer forensics division. Or something.

Re:Smart police officer (4, Insightful)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925933)

Should probably get out of police work if he's got that much sense.

Nothing against police officers, but once you cut through the hyperbole it's mostly a processing job with a car and a gun. If you step out of that role as a processor you're likely to harm yourself or others.

Re:Smart police officer (4, Funny)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926923)

I know more than a few (Phoenix) police officers and they claim an officer has to be smart or they won't last out on the street.

BTW, this is the first I've herd of this lawsuit but I an glad of the outcome.

Re:Smart police officer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927735)

You mean like in carrying a plant weapon in case they kill someone who doesn't have a weapon or being sure to check for people who might have recorded them beating up someone and confiscate the recording equipment. Or did they have something else in mind?

Re:Smart police officer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29929493)

I know more than a few (Phoenix) police officers and they claim an officer has to be smart or they won't last out on the street.

BTW, this is the first I've herd of this lawsuit but I an glad of the outcome.

I'm guessing you're not a cop, then. Herd, indeed.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

rubi (910818) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930735)

Should get out of the job, but not because of the job itself. Even if he gets re-moted/promoted/I-don't-know-what (isn't english as a second language wonderful?), he will get harrassed and looked down, passed-over, etc. probably for the rest of his career unless he finds some heavy-weight politician to back him up. At least that is how it is done here.

Re:Smart police officer (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925961)

I would imagine when cops turn against each other, all sorts of hilarity ensues. They know their rights, plus they known the workings of the system, plus they have a lot of exposure to nefarious/criminal minds. Sort of like when two ambulance-chasing lawyers have a fender-bender.

Re:Smart police officer (2, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926299)

They know their rights

That's odd, since they don't seem to respect anyone else's. I prefer to assume that they don't know, or that they are brainwashed.

Never attribute to malice, that which can be attributed to stupidity

Re:Smart police officer (1)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927273)

That's odd, since they don't seem to respect anyone else's(sic).

That is because they know (a) You are supposed to know your rights and (b) You are suppose to stand up for your rights.

At best it's problematic, the officers life is almost always on the line and you want to be treated fairly by someone who in the next minute might lose there life. It simply sucks on both sides.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927365)

That their lives are on the line is no excuse, they chose the job.

(I have a lot of respect for people that choose to go into law enforcement, and I try to keep my interactions with them to a minimum, and calm when they are necessary, so I'm not saying this from some position where I think cops are a bunch of fascist assholes)

Re:Smart police officer (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927371)

At best it's problematic, the officers(sic, and HILARIOUS) life is almost always on the line and you want to be treated fairly by someone who in the next minute might lose there life.

Yeah but being a construction worker is much more dangerous, and those guys generally aren't assholes.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927423)

The people a construction worker works and speaks with are (probably) less likely to try to kill them. Not that I'm saying this excuses assholeish cops.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29932459)

So let me see if I have this right. The next time someone assaults you, robs you, rear ends you, rapes your wife or any number of unlawful act against your person, you are going to call a crook? Right? I just want to make sure.

Re:Smart police officer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927877)

You mention the lose of life and yet I don't remember my garbage man acting like he was obsessed with power. His chance of death is dramatically greater than the police officer's chance. That doesn't make for much of an argument.

Re:Smart police officer (4, Informative)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926673)

I ran an ISP owned by a lawyer once upon a time. The guy before me I found out had embezzled like 60 grand by writing checks to his wife for "services rendered". I told the lawyer, and he said, "that figures" and went back to his work. I asked aren't you going to sue him? He said that smart lawyers never sue anyone themselves, it's much more profitable to sue for other people. He told me to make sure to pay taxes as if she was a contractor, and turned back to his work obviously not wanting to be disturbed again.

So two ambulance chasing lawyers would probably just file insurance, and be done with it :).

Re:Smart police officer (5, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926811)

'He told me to make sure to pay taxes as if she was a contractor, ...'

This being embezzlement and all, there's a good chance that no income was declared. By you filing a tax form, the IRS would probably become extremely interested and start asking questions. An audit would not be pleasant for him or his wife.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928299)

It would be priceless to see the guys face when he gets hit with the 1099.

Re:Smart police officer (4, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928875)

I got stiffed on a contract job. Nothing big, ~$600 for install and config of 6 XP machines in an R&D lab.

They decided not to pay, and it wasn't worth fighting for it (I'd lose more money in time spent fighting them than had I simply worked another job), soooo I filed a 1099 for lost income with the IRS and called it good. Basically the way the law is written, by declaring they owed me the money, then forgiving the debt I could use that $600 to offset $600 earned elsewhere and not pay taxes on it.
The flip side is that their required to claim that $600 as income, and since they likely won't I have the satisfaction of them going through an audit.
-nB

Re:Smart police officer (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930673)

This is exactly what you should do everytime someone stiffs you on a paying job. It *will* piss them off.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29931129)

I'm quoting you on this in my journal. [livejournal.com]

I've got a few friends who'll appreciate this.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926939)

That sort of makes sense: when you're the plaintiff, you can always lose, but as a lawyer, the only question is whether you can collect your fees.

Re:Smart police officer (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927431)

That is interesting. I have an uncle who used to work for EF Hutton as a stock broker (which is going back a few years, but you may remember their motto, "When E.F. Hutton Talks, People Listen." They were very prestigious at the time.) I asked him if, among the more wealthy brokers he knew, they made their fortunes on stock picks, or on commissions, to which he immediately replied "commissions." That told me all I needed to know about paying for their advice.

Betting on one's own advice (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928047)

made their fortunes on stock picks, or on commissions, to which he immediately replied "commissions." That told me all I needed to know about paying for their advice.

This is not entirely fair, because people are often advised against investing in a company (or even industry), where they themselves work. Doing so could, some day, result in a "double whammy" if/when your company goes down (or the entire industry gets into turmoil): you lose both your job and your investment.

Similarly, a broker following his own (or his co-workers') stock-picks is exposing himself to both risks. Whereas the client risks only their investment, should the advice be poor, the broker also risks his job — even though the reward is the same.

Expecting people to bet their own farm on the advice they charge you money for is unrealistic — and their not doing so is not, in itself, a reflection of the quality of the advice.

sounds reasonable, but ... (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930467)

More than anything, it tells me that the whole basis of the economy is upside down.

In other words, we've all become mercenaries.

Well, it does feel upside down to me. And standing on my head to look at it some more doesn't seem to straighten the moral issues out, either. It's kind of like the way economists torture the word "service" when they use it to describe the "service economy".

Re:sounds reasonable, but ... (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29931729)

In other words, we've all become mercenaries.

1. (2) mercenary, soldier of fortune -- (a person hired to fight for another country than their own)

Overview of adj mercenary

The adj mercenary has 3 senses (no senses from tagged texts)

  1. materialistic, mercenary, worldly-minded -- (marked by materialism)
  2. mercenary, free-lance, freelance -- (serving for wages in a foreign army; "mercenary killers")
  3. mercantile, mercenary, moneymaking -- (profit oriented; "a commercial book"; "preached a mercantile and militant patriotism"- John Buchan; "a mercenary enterprise"; "a moneymaking business")

I don't think, you used the term in its second sense, but there is certainly nothing lamentable, that people work for money and are thus "profit oriented" (1st and 3rd senses). It has always been like that and works out pretty well...

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages."

Adam Smith

Re:Smart police officer (4, Insightful)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928281)

He told me to make sure to pay taxes as if she was a contractor, and turned back to his work obviously not wanting to be disturbed again.

Ok, that made me laugh. You just heard it as "Oh, you're not going to sue him, you're just going to let him get away with it? And all you care about is taxes are being paid?" But when I read it, I heard a smart lawyer saying it wasn't worth his time to go after the embezzler... But by declaring it on the taxes, he'd be raising a flag that the IRS could very likely investigate causing all sorts of problems. (It's highly unlikely the embezzler declared his embezzled income.) In other words, the lawyer quickly found a zero cost, legal way to get his 'revenge'. Tell me that's not worthy of a chuckle.

Re:Smart police officer (2, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926213)

Don't you think it was just his lawyer or union representative asking for the documents? I don't know how demotion hearings work, but I would imagine you get a little help from an expert.

The Likeliest Policy Change ... (3, Funny)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925917)

From the desk of the Chief of Police:

Effective immediately all precinct officers should destroy all electronic devices with central processing units. All document production will be performed using manual typewriters.

Re:The Likeliest Policy Change ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926067)

You could just have them destroy all metadata, that would solve the problem.

Re:The Likeliest Policy Change ... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926643)

Spoliation of evidence.

Courts don't look favorably upon cases of the "dog eating your homework"

"data retention policy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926945)

That's why you establish a policy. "It's our policy to feed all non-essential homework to the dog after 90 days in order to manage storage costs" is totally acceptable to the courts. The key is to include that explanatory clause to provide plausible deniability that evidentiary value drove your decision.

Duh.

Re:The Likeliest Policy Change ... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29932239)

Effective immediately all precinct officers should destroy all electronic devices with central processing units. All document production will be performed using manual typewriters.

And you think an old typewriter embeds less meta-information? Forensics can probably dig up a lot more, and it's much harder to fake or alter.

Cutting edge? (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925921)

Quoth the lawyer:

'This is at the cutting edge — it's the law trying to catch up with technology'

So it's not really the cutting edge then, is it? It's the law only now trying to cope with decades-old technology.

Re:Cutting edge? (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925981)

I think perhaps he was talking about it being the cutting edge of the law. Maybe. But probably.

Re:Cutting edge? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926083)

I don't know whether to be more surprised that my state is actually the first to do something meaningful, or that the law is actually that far behind.

Re:Cutting edge? (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926113)

Arizona? I'd go with more surprised about the former statement.

Re:Cutting edge? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926127)

I don't know whether to be more surprised that you showed up after trolling with that "cutting edge crap" when you KNEW what was meant, or that you were even more incoherent and vapid in your response than you were in the original abortion of a post.

Re:Cutting edge? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929621)

Ah, you must be the lawyer.

And I'm surprised. (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930675)

Anyone who posts here should have access to enough evidence to already know that the law is even further behind than that.

Electronic "evidence" is extremely easy to kludge together. Should not be allowed in courts.

You can examine paper to find out what it's made of, and where it might have been made. Likewise ink. You can analyze handwriting in probabilistic terms. Etc.

Noise is noise when you're trying to communicate a message reliably, but when you're needing to analyze the source of the data and such, noise is data.

But when noise is deliberately turned into data and stored, once again, it's easy to manipulate.

Re:Cutting edge? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926023)

So it's not really the cutting edge then, is it? It's the law only now trying to cope with decades-old technology.

Most law enforcement systems are decades old.
It wasn't until after 9/11 that serious $$$ started going towards modernization of records.

Re:Cutting edge? (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926449)

And given that 9/11 happened in 2001, it'll be back to decades old in a two years...

Re:Cutting edge? (4, Insightful)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926107)

Decades-old is bleeding edge as far as the law is concerned.

Apple really doesn't have a choice (-1, Offtopic)

johofnovi (1667811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925967)

They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Look at recent outcry's over the Pepsi "pick up chicks" app or the "shaken baby" app. They may be tasteless but Apple let them through their "closed" system and caught hell for it. As a company they are really left with little choice but to somewhat sensor the material to mitigate lawsuits from "offended persons". If those apps made the grade, I shudder to think what drivel didn't. I don't like it, but I understand it.

Re:Apple really doesn't have a choice (5, Funny)

johofnovi (1667811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926055)

Bah! Totally posted to the wrong thread. fail. =(

Re:Apple really doesn't have a choice (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926175)

are you sure you know what thread you're posting in?

Re:Apple really doesn't have a choice (4, Funny)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927043)

are you sure you know what thread you're posting in?

There's an app for that.

Re:Apple really doesn't have a choice (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928535)

There's an app for that.

I use the competitor's product. I have a map for that.

keeping the (wall street of deceit) lie alive... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926013)

is presently costing US (you & me) billions of $$ per day. seems as though the dough could go to something sustainable/worthwhile instead. does anyone remember the process of the nazis in germany, as in stealing all of the regions' remaining resources as they took flight?

mynuts won; to be censored/deleted post haste.

Grammar Police (0, Flamebait)

abscondment (672321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926079)

Metadata ARE part of the records. They're plural, bitches.

Re:Grammar Police (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926155)

Thank you. Data are plural, not a singular group noun.

Re:Grammar Police (4, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926311)

Thank you. Data are plural, not a singular group noun.

Data are neither singular nor plural, they just are. That's like thinking your automobile is singular or plural. It's neither, it just is.

'Data', the word, IS plural, but as a single word requires singular references. Thus '"data" is plural' is correct. OTH, "'data' is plural and 'datum' is singular" ARE correct.

Isn't english fun?

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927471)

Actually it is NEITHER singular NOR plural. It is a noun. Or more descriptively a label.
Datum is singular. Data refers to a single physical object, regardless of what it comprises. It is simply a reference point.

Latin Grammar Police (3, Informative)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927481)

It's not English that's fun, it's English borrowing foreign words that English speakers don't understand the rules for declension for that are fun. "Datus/Data/Datum" is the perfect passive participle of the Latin verb "dare", which means "to give". It's basically an adjective used as a substantive (i.e., a non-noun being used as a noun thanks to the power of implication) in this case.

As used in English, "Datum" (the neuter nominative singular) would most literally mean "(implied, but unspecified thing) having been given". "Data" would be the neuter nominative plural meaning "(implied, but unspecified things) having been given". So unless someone is transmitting only one unspecified thing, "data" is most appropriate in its level of mass noun vagueness.

Re:Latin Grammar Police (1)

beanyk (230597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927715)

Also, a real second-declension neuter noun in Latin would use a singular verb, even when it is plural. So applying Latin-like rules to English, "data is" is still correct.

Re:Latin Grammar Police (3, Funny)

PseudononymousCoward (592417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928845)

CENTURION: What's this, then? 'Romanes Eunt Domus'? 'People called Romanes they go the house'?

BRIAN: It-- it says, 'Romans, go home'.

CENTURION: No, it doesn't. What's Latin for 'Roman'? Come on!

BRIAN: Aah!

CENTURION: Come on!

BRIAN: 'R-- Romanus'?

CENTURION: Goes like...?

BRIAN: 'Annus'?

CENTURION: Vocative plural of 'annus' is...?

BRIAN: Eh. 'Anni'?

CENTURION: 'Romani'. 'Eunt'? What is 'eunt'?

BRIAN: 'Go'. Let--

CENTURION: Conjugate the verb 'to go'.

BRIAN: Uh. 'Ire'. Uh, 'eo'. 'Is'. 'It'. 'Imus'. 'Itis'. 'Eunt'.

CENTURION: So 'eunt' is...?

BRIAN: Ah, huh, third person plural, uh, present indicative. Uh, 'they go'.

CENTURION: But 'Romans, go home' is an order, so you must use the...?

BRIAN: The... imperative!

CENTURION: Which is...?

BRIAN: Umm! Oh. Oh. Um, 'i'. 'I'!

CENTURION: How many Romans?

BRIAN: Ah! 'I'-- Plural. Plural. 'Ite'. 'Ite'.

CENTURION: 'Ite'.

BRIAN: Ah. Eh.

CENTURION: 'Domus'?

BRIAN: Eh.

CENTURION: Nominative?

BRIAN: Oh.

CENTURION: 'Go home'? This is motion towards. Isn't it, boy?

BRIAN: Ah. Ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not dative! Not the dative, sir! No! Ah! Oh, the... accusative! Accusative! Ah! 'Domum', sir! 'Ad domum'! Ah! Oooh! Ah!

CENTURION: Except that 'domus' takes the...?

BRIAN: The locative, sir!

CENTURION: Which is...?!

BRIAN: 'Domum'.

CENTURION: 'Domum'.

BRIAN: Aaah! Ah.

CENTURION: 'Um'. Understand?

BRIAN: Yes, sir.

CENTURION: Now, write it out a hundred times.

BRIAN: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Caesar, sir.

CENTURION: Hail Caesar. If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

BRIAN: Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Caesar and everything, sir! Oh. Mmm!

Finished!

ROMAN SOLDIER STIG: Right. Now don't do it again.

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927193)

Thank you. Data are plural, not a singular group noun.

My monolithic, united, singular data stomps the living crap out of your nerdly pencil-necked little datas. Sorry man, but that's just the way it is. I'll be taking that lunch money too, bud.

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926163)

Unless it's a collective noun, or a concept.

"People is stupid," is gramatically correct when you understand that 'people' refers to the single-organism, mob-mentality that happens when multiple individuals tend to gather. "People are not stupid," is also gramatically correct when it's the plural of person, meaning multiple individuals.

Maybe we can cut the guy a little slack and hope he understood in what context he was posting?

. . .

Bitches.

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926239)

I'm not bitches. [qwantz.com]

[[citation needed]] (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926591)

Every source I can find says that "data" can be either singular or plural.

If you have an authoritative source* that claims it can only be plural, please cite it. Otherwise, as your supervisor, I'm going to demote you to a lower rank within the grammar police.

(*An authoritative english language source. We're not speaking Latin, here)

Re:[[citation needed]] (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926853)

Vah! Denuone latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.

Re:[[citation needed]] (1)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927623)

Lusisti satis...

Re:[[citation needed]] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29928169)

Semper ubi sub ubi?

Re:[[citation needed]] (1)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929159)

Only if you don't prefer to go commando. ;)

Re:[[citation needed]] (1)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927727)

As I note just above, while technically "data" is actually plural in Latin, English uses it as a mass noun. Therefore, it is no longer singular or plural, it just is. It makes the most sense that way since it's a vague term.

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927379)

How ironic that your post title is Grammar Police whilst your metadatum is synonymous with "To leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution".

Sterilize documents (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926111)

Sooner or later you'll see departments classify "temporary working notes" as mandatory-shred items, and require all "permanent records" to go through some process that strips them of non-visible information.

One relatively cheap way to do this is to print all documents to a digitally signed PDF or a graphics format. The digital signature is a bonus that authenticates the document.

Re:Sterilize documents (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926297)

Then you would have a document time stamp, telling the lawyers this document was modified well after the incident. Prompting them to ask for the previous versions. Departments would be better served by not going back and altering records to support their actions.

I think you misunderstand (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927157)

Say my boss says "create a report on such and so." In the days of typewriters, I would've drafted a report, sent it around for review, had my secretary type up the final copy, and sign it and date it then file it.

In recent times, I draft a report, send it around for review, correct it in place with metadata showing the history, then file it.

The proposed method, which a lot of companies will do unless there's some law or rule saying they can't, is to draft the report, send it around for review, sterilize it, then save the final copy as if it were the only version that ever existed. There will be no official record that you had something in at one point but it was taken out, or that a reviewer recommended a particular change be made but you declined the change. Of course, in certain industries laws or customs may dictate that every change and proposed change be logged. In those environments, if you want something done "off the record" you discuss it over lunch or over a round of golf, or, if any such things would be overly suspicious, you play mental games like "how can I get my boss to seriously consider changing X before the draft becomes final without there being any record that the change was anyone's idea but his?"

Re:I think you misunderstand (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927745)

Most companies would not do this. Most companies would prefer to have an audit trail. Most companies are lawful (for the most part), or at least fearful enough of the law to be sheepish. They want an audit trail on documents so they know who to pin any transgression of the law on. Yes, your CEO will pin a lawsuit on you if it will save the company money.

An audit trail could also be useful in an embezzlement or industrial espionage investigation. Companies of any size are not a homogenous conglomeration. There are lots of bit players all reading off different scripts. Audit trails allow the big players to ferret out and tag smaller players they don't like.

Yet another reason to fake it (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928153)

If you are a small player have enemies at HQ and are fearful of a we-want-to-fire-you-so-we-are-auditing-you-to-nail-you audit wasting your time by calling into question every decision you made, you'll make sure only the things you want to wind up "on the record" exist on paper, and make sure any meetings and other decision-making processes that you want "off the record" stay "off the record"/oral only.

If on the other hand if neither you nor the boss you like has enemies inside or outside the company and your company doesn't have enemies outside, then you can write everything down and having this audit trail will probably help you run your department and company better.

evidence? of what? (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 4 years ago | (#29930725)

And sterilizing the documents tells everyone that the company wants everyone to believe that the document's history is irrelevant.

The document's history is the closest thing electronic data has to things like ink and paper chemical analysis. (Not to say that it even comes close to that, not to say that said electronic history can't be manipulated.)

How TOUCHing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926117)

Hopefully, the supervisor didn't know how to use the basic filesystem tools when pre-dating the notes. Assuming he pre-dated the notes.

I feel safe mentioning that. By now the file, with all its appropriate metadata, is backed up somewhere that the supervisor can't write to without bullying someone.

So, were they back dated? (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926335)

So I want to know if they really were back dated. And if so, I hope his supervisor gets fired and that they re-hire this officer. And give him a medal.

Re:So, were they back dated? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927091)

I know... as a resident of Arizona, I want an officer promoted who's intelligent enough to be aware of metadata, let alone its availability!

Here's the Amicus Brief
http://www.ananews.com/flyers/amicus_brief2009.pdf

and the Oral Argument Case Summary
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/argument/09Summaries/September%2024%20CV-09-0036-PR.pdf

OMG now I have to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926659)

yeah yeah...court case, metadata, blah blah.
Did he actually get the metadata? Were the notes backdated? I MUST KNOW. The truth is out there, hidden in the bits.

Re:OMG now I have to know (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926855)

I know.. it's like reading a book synopsis.. i need the story!

mod 0p (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926825)

move any equip8ent hobbyist dilettante

Actually they denied it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29927453)

I don't know if anyone actually read the order, but it seems like they actually denied the fact that metadata was public information. Or am I missing something?

CV-09-0036-PR

Not Cutting Edge Law (2, Informative)

HandleMyBidness (848635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29927981)

The federal rules for civil procedure (FRCP) were updated in 2006 to address issues like this. Part of the FRCP is what guides production formats during civil suits. A lot of state courts are now using the FRCP as a guide for developing their own standards with regards to management of electronic data for legal purposes. This is the rule, pretty clear. http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/Rule34.htm [cornell.edu]

Previously if you have 10,000 emails you could just print them out to loose piles of paper and turn over boxes (sometimes 100s of boxes) of paper to opposing counsel. After 2006 there is a default that the other side of a lawsuit is entitled to the documents in the same format they are kept in the course of business. This includes meta data and it is specifically mentioned in the FRCP. Most lawyers will make agreements during their discovery conferences (aka 30b6) to agree to production formats that both sides won't find unduly burdensome.

change the metadata (1)

randallman (605329) | more than 4 years ago | (#29928455)

If the guy was dishonest enough to backdate the document, he may very well backdate the metadata too.

Re:change the metadata (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929163)

If it is a Word document. the creation date in the file is not editable. To change it would require bit editing the file which I doubt the supervisor could do. It is very easy to type a date into a document; not so easy to change the metadata. Even if it could be changed, one could probably go to a backup soon after the file was supposed to be created and notice that the file does not exist.

Re:change the metadata (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29929365)

What, you don't know how to set the clock on your computer back to June 1st, then fire up Word and type up the document? That amount of effort certainly doesn't take a techie or a fancy bit editor. It only takes a few drops of imagination. It's certainly within the skillset of your average cop.

The only requirement is that you set the clock back before creating the new doc. It won't work to set the clock back and try to edit it after the doc has been created. But in that case you'd just have to create another new doc and retype in the old text. It's no big deal, but when people are stressed out enough that they're forging "evidence" they're also likely in a rush, and may make a careless mistake.

Where are my mod points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29930845)

I've already posted. Should I log out and log back in as one of my sock puppets to see if any has mod points I can mod that up with?

I mean, that one post sums up everything directly relevant in the thread. (Not saying that the irrelevant is unimportant, just that this post needs modded up. The long way. Saying it the long way, I mean, not modding it up the long way.)

erm

Re:change the metadata (1)

aolsheepdog (239764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29932409)

What, you don't know how to set the clock on your computer back to June 1st, then fire up Word and type up the document? That amount of effort certainly doesn't take a techie or a fancy bit editor. It only takes a few drops of imagination. It's certainly within the skillset of your average cop.

The only requirement is that you set the clock back before creating the new doc. It won't work to set the clock back and try to edit it after the doc has been created. But in that case you'd just have to create another new doc and retype in the old text. It's no big deal, but when people are stressed out enough that they're forging "evidence" they're also likely in a rush, and may make a careless mistake.

In many corporate environments (and much to my irritation at my USG job), only an administrator has the capability to adjust the clock/date. Doubt it is for the reason you mentioned, more likely to ensure job security.

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