Confidentiality of data is always a concern. With the prevalence of the web, it only becomes more of a challenge to keep your data secure. Recently in Australia, this topic was addressed in parliament after an inquiry into why hundreds of highly sensitive Fitzgerald inquiry documents, including those detailing historic investigations into some high-profile Queenslanders, had been accidentally made available to the public. In addition, thousands of others had been inadvertently shredded.

State archivist Janet Prowse told the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee that the metadata – an online index containing detailed descriptions of the inquiry documents, including surveillance reports and operation targets – was easily found. “A researcher with basic web searching skills would be able to find and locate metadata,” Ms. Prowse said.

This intriguing information was brought to our attention by The Australian News in their article, “Sensitive information from Fitzgerald Inquiry available to anyone with basic web skills, hearing told.”

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.