Seattle, WA and Boca Raton, FL — Updates to TheFormTool PRO and Doxserá include automatic metadata scrubbing of the intelligent documents produced by the software, according to an announcement by TheFormTool, LLC at The Florida Bar 2015 Conference in Boca Raton Florida.
Metadata hidden behind the scenes in Word documents has become a serious problem for lawyers and other professionals who need to protect confidential client information or the process by which documents were produced and approved. Bar associations are warning of the dangers of including metadata in filed or distributed documents; court clerks in Florida are seeking indemnification from lawyers who fail to remove the hidden information. In the corporate world, metadata is allowing leakage of proprietary information to competitors. Courts are allowing evidence derived from metadata to influence their decisions in cases.
“The increased emphasis on the responsibilities of document originators, that they or their clients can be held responsible for comments, tracking histories, even the legitimacy of the original source of a document, created a bit of a firestorm among the 1800 attendees the first day of the conference,” according to Bob Christensen, director of customer service for the firm. “We thought we’d answer the challenge on the spot with free updates to our programs to allow the automatic and transparent removal of metadata from Word documents created with TheFormTool PRO or Doxserá.
“Even the existence of metadata is a mystery to many. It’s a very small and unimportant item, until it isn’t. Then the unintended sharing of information has the potential to become huge.”
The firm’s meta-scrubber removes comments, document properties (including author), email headers, annotations, track changes revisions, and routing slips from documents as they are prepared for filing or external distribution. More information and a video demonstration is available at https://service.theformtool.com/entries/83038255-TLC-2-How-to-Remove-Metadata-from-a-Document.