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Metadata In Arizona Public Records Can’t Be Withheld

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    Last Updated: October 31, 2009


    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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