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C++ Coding Standard

Rule:  OOP#003

Synopsis:A public method must never return a non-const reference or pointer to data outside an object, unless the object shares the data with other objects
Severity Level:2
Category:Object Oriented Programming


Although, the data exists outside the object it is still part of the state of the object. The calling method should not be able to manipulate this data.

Literature References:
Ellemtel Rule 30