Using Redaction for Privacy Maintenance as An Investigator

Using Redaction for Privacy Maintenance as An Investigator

As Seen On TV

Without looking up the definition of an “investigator,” we can probably list a number of movies and references that clearly outline their role. From horrific criminal offenses or convoluted romantic antics, real or entertainment, investigators will always have an important role to play in finding out the truth.

By definition, an investigator is someone that collects and analyzes evidence to build an understanding of the situation at hand and establish who is responsible for whatever crime has been committed. To play a heroic role such as this, the character and past of an investigator themselves should be reputable.

Most are surprised to learn that Eugène François Vidocq, a French criminal in the 1800s, is considered one of the pioneers of modern criminal investigation. Having lived a colorful life, he felt he was better equipped to catch criminals as he himself was in their position. Eugène François Vidocq did continue carrying out criminal offenses throughout his career as an investigator, but thankfully today, we have set specific standards in order to pursue this career.

Being an Investigator

To become an investigator, you must have the proper education and background and, depending on the jurisdiction, take an oath. These oaths emphasize upholding the law, serving the public, and protecting the rights of individuals. One of the many rights is privacy. An investigator must adhere to the legal and ethical guidelines within the jurisdiction and perform their investigation within those specifically set boundaries. They have to ensure that the data and information they gather are consensual and lawful. For example, having the proper permissions before conducting surveillance or accessing private records via legal requests.

Investigator pointing at evidence board filled with photos, maps, and headshots connected with red string.

Investigators are utilized across a diverse range of situations and fields, including law enforcement, corporate investigations, insurance, government agencies, financial investigations, private matters, and numerous other domains. Each domain has its own process and procedures to follow as well; for example, when conducting a bank investigation, it is crucial to have knowledge of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which outlines the requirement for banks to retain specific records and report certain transactions.

Investigators can leverage BSA provisions to detect any unlawful financial activities. In the case of working with public schools, investigators should also be well-informed about and adhere to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is responsible for ensuring the privacy of student education records.

It’s clear that being an investigator can mean having to be familiar with many rules and regulations. And given the diverse nature of investigative work, there is a significant amount of private data involved during investigations. Ensuring data security is a critical aspect of the job, and it is imperative to implement appropriate security measures for both digital and physical information to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, but what does that look like?

Evidence and How To Maintain Privacy

Investigators collaborate with pieces of evidence, and the term “evidence” unlocks a gateway that grants us a deeper understanding of the materials commonly handled by investigators. In any particular scenario, “evidence” can encompass various forms such as videos, audio recordings, images, and documents, which more than potentially include confidential and delicate data.

Two investigators lookinginto a box

To maintain privacy in all of these various forms, there is a particular action that can be taken, and that is Redaction. Redaction refers to selectively censoring information by obscuring, removing, or blacking out portions of any asset, such as videos, audio files, images, and documents.

The purpose of redaction is to remove confidential information that should not be disclosed to the public. It is commonly used to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and any other data that could compromise security or legal obligations. The redacted portions are visually altered to obscure the content and render it unreadable or unidentifiable.

Redaction Tools

Redaction software is developed to enhance and streamline the process of redacting sensitive information. This is achieved by automating the detection of sensitive data, enabling efficient redaction of PII, facilitating batch processing to handle multiple assets simultaneously, providing collaborative features, and generating an audit trail to ensure accountability throughout the redaction process.

As an investigator, it would benefit you to have redaction software that carries all of those capabilities and more. With the numerous rules and regulations investigators must follow, it’s important to have redaction software that is dependable. Redaction tools, such as CaseGuard, provide investigators with a comprehensive set of capabilities. It simplifies the redaction of all assets, including documents with features like template redaction, Find and Redact, OCR for physical scanned documents, and PST email redaction.

The integrated AI capabilities enable painless redaction of videos and audio files, including transcription-based redaction, to avoid PII exposure. With CaseGuard Studio, investigators can confidently comply with regulations and protect sensitive information in a hassle-free manner.

In CaseGuard Studio, the process of intentionally excluding specific elements from redaction is made effortless. The software offers user-friendly features like the “Block List,” which instructs the AI to avoid detecting and redacting designated content, and the “Object Detection” panel, which enables the selective omission of faces. These functionalities simplify the task of ensuring that the subject of your investigation remains visible and identifiable while other sensitive information is appropriately redacted.

In the realm of investigation, redaction software plays a vital role in ensuring compliance and protecting sensitive information. The intricate rules and regulations investigators must adhere to require a dependable solution. Redaction software, like CaseGuard Studio, empowers investigators by simplifying the redaction process. With its advanced features and integrated AI capabilities, investigators can confidently protect sensitive information, ensuring compliance and enhancing the efficiency of their investigations.

Related Reads