What is Redaction Software? New Technology Solutions

What is Redaction Software? New Technology Solutions

When thinking about the word redaction, many people think of names or places that have been removed from legal documents during the course of a high-profile court case. For instance, a lawyer may draw black boxes over a legal document that contains personal information, such as names and addresses, that must remain confidential. However, new developments in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning have led to the creation of software programs that can do this same redaction work automatically. What’s more, these programs also provide consumers with the ability to redact information across a wide range of mediums, such as PDFs and documents, videos, and audio files, among a host of others.

PDF and document redaction software

As the practice of redaction has historically taken place in the context of written communication that is contained within physical documents, PDF and document redaction software is perhaps the most widely used of all such technological solutions. From legal correspondence to educational records, these software programs provide users with the ability to protect personally identifiable information that is recorded in written form. Furthermore, there are also numerous features that users of these software applications can utilize to redact personal information from a particular PDF or document. For example, many PDF redaction software programs allow users to redact data in accordance with AI analytics.

To illustrate this point further, consider a legal professional that needs to redact names, signatures, and dates from thousands of legal documents. While this professional could get the job done manually by hand, the process could take days if not weeks. Moreover, the level of tediousness associated with such a task also opens the door for mistakes to occur. To this point, the legal professional in question could instead use the analytics feature within an automatic PDF redaction software program to automatically redact names, signatures, and dates from these same legal documents, in a fraction of the time that it would take to do manually. Furthermore, the legal professional would also have multiple opportunities to check their work, ensuring that any potential mistakes are greatly reduced.

Audio redaction software

Alternatively, consumers can also use redaction software to redact audio files. 911 calls that are played during nightly news segments are a primary example of the application of audio redaction software. While the broadcasting of these calls can help American citizens become more informed about criminal activities that may have taken place and their local town or city, certain forms of personally identifiable information, such as phone numbers and postal addresses, cannot be disclosed to the general public without the consent of the parties involved. As such, these audio calls must first be redacted before they can be used in the context of a nightly news show.

This goal can be achieved in numerous ways. For example, a user of an audio redaction software program could redact an audio file manually by listening to the file and then placing redaction boxes over the places on the audio wavelength where personal details were disclosed. Conversely, many audio redaction software programs also allow users to both transcribe and translate audio files. As such, users can also use automatic transcription as a tool to aid them in redacting a particular audio file, as said users will be able to clearly see any instances where personal information was spoken when reviewing the transcription for said file, enabling said users to redact audio in a way that is both time-efficient and effective.

Video redaction software

In addition to PDFs, documents, and audio files, many video redaction software applications also allow users to redact video content as well. While video redaction represents a much more recent advancement in the field of redaction when compared to PDF and audio redaction, the rise of smartphones, surveillance cameras, and IoT devices such as smart doorbells and alarm systems have created an environment where redacting video files will be a necessity for professionals within industries such as law enforcement, education, and transportation, as well as many others. As is the case with PDF and audio redaction, videos can also be redacted using a variety of features.

For example, users of certain automatic video redaction software programs can redact video using functions such as object tracking and automatic AI detection features. These features utilize machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to automatically identify objects or persons of interest within a video recording, such as cellphone screens and license plates, allowing users to redact these objects with the click of a button. For instance, Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests will often require law enforcement or government agencies to disclose dozens of video files. As such, manually redacting all of these files would be impractical under many circumstances, giving rise to features that allow professionals to perform these actions automatically.

Redaction software has completely changed the way in which personal data and privacy are protected at all levels of business. A far cry from simply placing black boxes over personal information contained within a legal document, many redaction software programs provide users with the ability to redact information across a wide range of mediums, including but not limited to videos, audio files, PDFs, and documents. Whether it be a law enforcement official looking to redact a video in response to a FOIA request or a school administrator looking to redact educational records in the context of assisting a journalist with a news story, redaction software gives these professionals the means to achieve the most efficient results possible.

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