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bit loss

n. ~ The corruption of the lowest level of information digital data in transmission or during storage.


Bit loss indicates that information at the smallest level has changed or become erratic. Within character data, the change of a single bit may be significant; changing the middle bit in A (1000001) to alters it to I (1001001). Such a change in a binary executable file may make it impossible for the program to run or to authenticate a bitstream using a digital signature. However, such a change in an image or sound file may result in only a minor amount of noise.

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology