Redaction: Definition, Process, and When to Use It

Sometimes called “document sanitizing,” redaction is the process of removing sensitive information from a document. To obscure information, the text or image is blacked out—oftentimes with a black marker when redacted by hand.

Watch the video or read the transcript below to find out how you can securely manage redaction of your documents.

Video Transcript

The Risks of Redacting Yourself

When self-redacting, one of the most frequently overlooked things to consider is what you’re using to redact documents.

Some might think that any sort of black ink to cover text will work, but many can actually be lifted using special inks and liquids or seen when the paper is held up against a bright blacklight.

As a result, many businesses and individuals alike are adopting electronic redaction systems for both scanning papers as well as new electronic documents to ensure their sensitive information is fully obscured before documents are distributed.

When to Redact Documents

All sensitive information ranging from addresses and phone numbers to past medical histories need to be redacted.

More specifically, redaction is frequently used by governments and in industries like health care and financial services to protect the vast amount of sensitive information they handle every day.

What Documents Need Redaction

There’s a range of different personal and business information you need to redact before distribution, such as:

  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Social security numbers
  • Addresses & phone numbers
  • Account numbers
  • Financial information
  • Medical & psychiatric information
  • All other personally identifiable information (PII)

How Redaction Works

Redacting documents while scanning takes place in two main steps:

  1. As files are scanned, optical character recognition (OCR) is used to convert the document to a file that’s readable to redaction software.
  2. The text is then run through redaction software designed to look for specific patterns in the text. After the software identifies types of sensitive information they are selected and removed.

Have Sensitive Documents to Redact?

Record Nations partners with secure and reliable record management services across the United States. To get started finding the best document redaction service for you, fill out our form or give us a call at (866) 385-3706 for a free quote from providers in your area.