Document Redaction: What It Is, How It Works, and When to Use It

Redact confidential documents to keep private information secure.

Ever wonder what kind of information is redacted from documents? Or do you want to know how it’s done on a large scale? Check out the video or transcription below for a better understanding of document redaction services and the industries that use it most.

Video Transcription

What Is Document Redaction?

“I’d like people to get a sense of who I am, yet I want to keep my privacy, too.” – Rosamund Pike

Otherwise known as document sanitizing, redaction is the process of blacking out or removing any sensitive information from a document so it can be used and distributed, but still protect confidential information too.

What Information Needs Redacting?

Sensitive information that could be used to commit fraud or expose private information should be redacted. The following list is a general guide:

  • Social security numbers
  • Driver’s license or professional license numbers
  • Protected health information and other medical information
  • Financial documents and files
  • Proprietary information or trade secrets
  • Judiciary records
  • Individuals’ addresses, dates and months of birth, and other personally identifiable information (PII)

When to Use Redaction

Nearly every industry needs redaction in some form to protect important information. However, some, like the legal industry and the government, deal with more sensitive information than others.

Another example is healthcare, which is mandated by HIPAA to protect PHI (Protected Health Information) and is also required to notify affected individuals if their information is exposed—potentially crippling public relations.

How Redaction Works

The document redaction process only requires 3 simple steps.

1. Document is scanned and converted to digital format with OCR
2. PII in searchable digital files is identified for redaction
3. Sensitive information is removed and the redacted file is stored

Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for Redaction

OCR technology allows rules-based search engines to locate and mark sensitive information within digital documents for redaction. The OCR redaction process includes a few steps:

  • Automated software analyzes the document for PII (paper and microfilm must be scanned first)
  • The service sanitizes the file, removing and redacting marked information
  • The document is reproduced in its redacted format and restored with other files in a document management system (DMS) or cloud storage

Do You Need Help With Document Redaction?

Get free, no-obligation quotes on document redaction services near you. Call Record Nations at (866) 385-3706, fill out the form, or contact us directly using our live chat to get started.