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Excerpt from the Esko/MediaBeacon: R3volution evaluation:

"What's to prevent someone from reading or writing every field in an asset's XMP using an Adobe (or other) XMP editor, or even a hex editor? Encryption. It turns out, MediaBeacon has the ability to encrypt metadata fields. In fact, a user with appropriate rights can select from among several encryption algorithms (using a drop-down menu), and apply them to asset metadata on a field-by-field basis (and yes, this means different fields can be encrypted with different strengths). So not only do you have access control over metadata at the field level, but you have XMP that can't be edited (or even deciphered) after a file leaves the system...."

(P. 182 in the Digital Asset Management Report. )