As I was reading this article Legal Technology – Coming to Terms on Mining Metadata, I couldn’t believe that courts would consider barring opposing counsel from searching metadata within a document that they have been sent, either outside of the discovery process or inside the discovery process. Seems like too fine of a line for courts to be drawing and in general reflects an attempt to graft on old litigation processes to litigation data.
Metadata is just one type of data in any piece of electronic evidence. And metadata can and is unstructured, who knows what could be embedded in any particular file type. Narrowly defining metadata as properties assigned by MS Office is too platform specific.
The short answer is be careful what you send out and what you receive. The new 502 should help here as well.