Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 11/30/2005 07:52:00 AM

Trade Secrets Online (Albeit Inadvertently)

From Bitform Technology Inc., a software component developer of tools for content inspection and security, a study indicating that many documents at the websites of Fortune 100 companies contain hidden metadata which could be embarrasing to the companies if not downright security breaches.

Among other publicly-exposed problem documents:

-- A contract from a telecommunications company contains dozens of track changes - both insertions and deletions - potentially exposing negotiable terms.

-- A customer presentation from an equipment manufacturer contains a comment that questions whether the facts in a slide are accurate.

In the words of Joe Keslin, CEO and Co-founder of Bitform, "it's remarkable how much information is accidentally exposed through seemingly benign documents that organizations generate every day."

The solution? Scrubbing the metadata before documents are posted or circulated outside the company.

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