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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Arizona Supreme Court: Metadata Is a Public Record

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled today that metadata in a public-agency email is subject to disclosure. Specifically, the court held "that if a public entity maintains a public record in an electronic format, then the electronic version, including any embedded metadata, is subject to disclosure under our public records law." This is the first state supreme court opinion in the country to rule that metadata is available for public review.

This decision overrules a horrible decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals that held the opposite. Local governments in Washington and elsewhere were pointing to the horrible decision as a reason to deny access to electronic records. Not any more.