By definition, metadata is data about data. For computer files, it includes file name, file type, date last opened, date last edited and more. In addition to that kind of file information, which most people can see, there are many more metadata fields that are hidden to typical users. When a file is created or revised, details may be embedded about who created or changed the document, when, on what computer, at what company, what was changed and more. This information can be valuable for a court case, and it goes beyond standard electronic discovery data collection: it must be gathered and analyzed by a digital forensics specialist.

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