Metadata continues to accumulate at an unfathomable rate. Every digital transaction – conversation, purchase, or data transfer – adds to the pile. Techcrunch brought this news to us in their article, “Digital toxic waste (or why metadata shouldn’t live forever).”

We have been led to believe that metadata is nothing to worry about. It is only the content that adds up. A couple of decades ago when the frequency of digital communications between people and systems was minimal and storage prohibitively expensive, this might have been true. Today, metadata collection and mining has become an industry of its own.

Frankly the volume is not the only problem. It is the security – or lack thereof – of the data being stored. Collecting and storing any information, metadata included, in an unsecure way can set an organization up for a global attack leading to unauthorized collection and use of sensitive data.

Melody K. Smith

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