A new front line of national and corporate security is emerging, and some of the most common document applications, including Microsoft Word documents and PDFs, are putting people on it without their knowledge. In the past several years, federal agencies and private-sector companies have released documents on the Internet that they thought did not contain sensitive content, but they actually did. That has led to embarrassment, scandals, firings and national security breaches when unintended readers discovered the hidden data.
Owen Ambur is calling to third party vendors to propose solutions. He is far too kind. Application developers have been grossly negligent and need to provide an intuitive from of redaction that would truly delete data. This is a disaster waiting to happen and if the nation suffers because someone didn’t properly redact data in a publicly released document, playing blame the end user will not be a successful PR strategy.