Lawyers and ediscovery vendors are raising significant concerns over the growth of nascent metadata, a new type of metadata technically known as fn-metadata but more commonly referred to as “effin data.” According to experts monitoring the situation, effin data is data that does not yet exist but could exist if the right conditions develop.
“It’s very significant,” said one lawyer who was drafting his law firm’s effin data policy to address the growing problem. “You cannot see it, feel it, even touch it, because it’s not there. But it could be. That’s what is scary.”
Ediscovery vendors and tech companies are scrambling to come up with price adjustments for dealing with effin data, which vendors explain is extremely difficult to control or corral. Some companies have begun initiating effin data transfers to the troposphere, cloud-like storage facilities that are considered the only safe medium to maintain effin data.
While theoretical in nature, scientists believe that effin data can maintain a physical presence under “ideal conditions.” Maurice Phillipson, an effin data researcher at Johns Hopkins University says that effin data can at times resemble “green cheesepuffs under a microscope, but that’s purely conjectural.”