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What is Data Redaction: All You Need to Know About Redaction

What is data redaction

You may have heard the phrase "redaction," which refers to hiding information to preserve people's privacy, conformance, or legal obligations. This can be done manually or with the assistance of a redaction tool.

With the modern digital age, it has become increasingly important to protect confidential information without compromising quality or efficiency.

Redaction tools allow organizations to efficiently and effectively hide private information while maintaining a quality end product.

So, if you're curious to learn more about the importance of data redaction, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information needed to make an informed decision.

What is Data Redaction

Data Redaction removes sensitive or confidential information from documents before they are shared with other parties, typically for legal reasons.

It involves physically obscuring the text in question by deleting it or covering it up with a black marker or other material so that the document’s contents cannot be easily accessed.

Redacting documents is often done to protect privacy, trade secrets, and confidential information.


In addition to its use as a way to protect private information, redaction can also be used as an effective way to control access to intellectual property rights and copyrighted works.

By obscuring certain document parts, companies can ensure that their proprietary information remains secure while granting limited access to people who need to view specific document parts.

Importance of Data Redaction

Redacting sensitive data is essential to protect confidential information and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. 

By protecting this information, organizations can avoid potential risks such as costly fines or government penalties. Data redaction is also vital to protect individuals’ personal information. 

Many laws are in place to protect people against unauthorized access or use of their private data by companies or governments.


It’s crucial that organizations take the necessary steps to preserve an individual’s right to privacy and not expose them to potential risks associated with improper handling of their confidential data.

Overall, redaction plays a vital role in ensuring that confidential information is not inappropriately accessed, shared, or used.

It helps to protect against data breaches, identity theft, and other forms of fraud. Taking the time to properly redact sensitive data can save a company time and money in the long run.

Data that needs to be Redacted

Various types of data need to be redacted to ensure the privacy and security of personal information. Mentioned below are a few of these:

Objects with Confidential Data

Objects that contain confidential data are one of the most common types of data that needs to be redacted.

This includes physical objects such as wallets with credit card information, ID cards with social security numbers, whiteboards, hard drives or USB sticks with sensitive information, and other digital storage devices.

All these objects should be secured and disposed of securely to avoid unauthorized access.

Personal Information

When it comes to redacting data, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is a must. This includes anything that can directly or indirectly identify an individual, such as name, Social Security Number, address, date of birth, and email address.

PII can also include biometric data like fingerprints, medical information, and financial records.

Companies need to be aware of the different types of PII they collect and store to adequately protect this sensitive data when redaction needs to be done.

The best way to ensure that no valuable PII is revealed during redaction is through rigorous processes involving manual review by qualified personnel trained to recognize protected information.

License Plates

License plates are unique identifiers assigned to vehicles that can be used to track down the vehicle's owner.

As such, it is crucial to redact license plate numbers when sharing or publishing vehicles' photos and videos to protect the owners' privacy. 

Redacting license plate numbers also helps prevent personal information misuse for malicious purposes.

There are various methods for redacting license plates, such as blurring, pixelating, or digitally removing the numbers from the photo or video.

It is important to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to properly conceal license plate numbers before publicly sharing any images or videos. Doing so will help keep drivers' information safe and secure.


When it comes to redacting data, faces and persons are of particular importance. In many cases, people's identities must be kept anonymous to ensure their security and privacy.

When dealing with sensitive information such as medical records or financial documents, even the slightest hint of a face can reveal identify information that should remain hidden.

Therefore, when preparing documents for release, it is crucial to make sure any faces or identifiable people have been completely redacted.

If a face or person does appear in the document, steps must be taken to obscure the details so that no one can identify the individual(s).

This can include blurring out eyes, noses, mouths, and other distinguishing features. It is also important to consider how revealing clothing might be, as it can reveal details about a person's identity.

How Does Redaction Work?

Redaction is done using different contact center-friendly technologies and methods, each with unique features, advantages, and drawbacks.

Agent-Initiated Recording Pause‍

The contact center agent controls when to start and stop recording in this method. The agent initiates a pause in the call recording by pressing an assigned button or making a verbal request.

The pause is typically indicated by a beep sound, which both parties can hear on the call. This method ensures that sensitive customer data or confidential information isn’t recorded during a conversation.

It also helps agents maintain their composure while speaking with customers since they know that inappropriate language will not be captured on record.

Desktop-Based Redaction

Desktop-based redaction is a type of document redaction that requires software to be used for it to work. This type of redaction does not need an Internet connection, as the documents are saved on a local computer.

The software will typically allow you to highlight certain sections or words within the document and then apply a black bar over them. It will also allow you to specify whether whole paragraphs should be redacted or just individual words.

Once these changes have been made, they can be exported back into the original file format so that the redacted version can be shared without revealing confidential information.

Keyword-based Redaction

Keyword-based redaction is a simple yet effective way of protecting sensitive information. It removes the words relevant to confidential data from documents, emails, and other digital communications before they are shared with external parties.

This redaction requires an administrator to determine which terms need to be redacted. This list can include Social Security numbers and credit card details, names, addresses, phone numbers, and more.

Once identified, these keywords or phrases can be programmatically removed using automated processes or manually blocked out in printed materials.

Selective Redaction‍

Selective redaction is a data protection technique in which only certain pieces of information, words, or sections are removed from a document.

The redacted material may be replaced with blacked-out text or other symbols so that it cannot be read by anyone who does not have the proper authorization.

This technique protects sensitive information such as social security numbers, financial details, and contact information.

To ensure nothing vital is lost in the redaction process, organizations must use software tools that can accurately detect and remove specific types of content while preserving the quality and integrity of the original document.

Selective redaction can also help to reduce storage costs by removing unnecessary content from documents without deleting them entirely.

Numeric Redaction

Numeric Redaction is an automated process that replaces sensitive numbers, such as social security and credit card numbers, with generic information, such as “XXX.”

This redaction helps protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal data while still providing enough information to make the document valid.


Numeric Redaction can also mask other numerical data types, such as account numbers or product serial numbers. The software scans through documents for specific patterns in text and automatically replaces them with generic information.

Redactions are permanent, so once applied, they cannot be reversed or undone without manual intervention.

Additionally, it is crucial to note that when using this type of redaction, all copies of the original document must be redacted before being distributed. Leaving any unaltered copies of the document can defeat the purpose of redaction.

Benefits of Data Redaction

Data redaction is a powerful tool for protecting confidential and private data. By masking or replacing sensitive information, organizations can ensure that it remains secure and compliant with relevant regulations. Here are some key benefits of data redaction:

Increased Efficiency

Not only does data redaction improve security, but it also makes manual review processes faster and more efficient. Reviewers can focus on what matters quickly and easily by removing irrelevant sections from documents.

Compliance with Regulations

Data privacy laws, like GDPR and HIPAA, require organizations to protect personal data. Data redaction can help organizations comply with these laws, avoiding costly fines and penalties.

Enhanced Security

Data redaction reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information and mitigating attacks such as phishing and ransomware.

Maintained Privacy

Data redaction keeps data secure and helps protect individuals' privacy by removing personal details from documents. This further reduces the risk of a data breach.

It is invaluable for keeping confidential information safe while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. 

It can help organizations protect their assets, improve efficiency, and safeguard the privacy of their clients or customers.

Looking for the Best Software to Redact Your Documents? Redactable is here to Help

Redactable is the perfect solution for businesses looking to redact their documents securely. The software allows you to quickly and easily remove all sensitive information from your documents in just a few clicks.


With their advanced algorithms, they can scan through large files and identify all metadata, hidden elements, and other potential risks that could make document security vulnerable.

Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up and work on large projects. 

They provide task management capabilities and enable you to build a flexible review process so that everyone involved knows exactly what's going on at each project stage.

Plus, you'll never have to worry about permanent data loss—because Redactable will ensure your sensitive documents remain safe and secure!

So, if you want to keep your documents securely redacted, look no further than Redactable. Depending on your redaction needs, you can also choose between the pro or enterprise plan.

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