With the focus on metadata over the past few years, and, more recently, Australia’s changes in access laws, the latest report about what metadata can be used for shouldn’t surprise anyone. This came to us from ABC in their article, “How pre-teens using metadata found a whistleblower in two hours.”

Since October 2015, potentially every phone call, text message and email created by Australians has been tracked by the government. Supposedly, only authorized agencies can access the metadata needed to do this, but there are many unauthorized government organizations that have been getting around this by asking the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to do metadata searches for them.

Metadata includes the addresses of people emailed, the numbers of people called, the time, date and duration of the communications, the locations of the phones, and the postal and billing addresses of the mobile plans. Considering all this, it is important to remember that metadata isn’t only about knowing a person’s past movements; it also about predicting their future activities. Most of us live according to routine. Once you know the pattern, it’s easy to work out where a person will be on a given day.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.