Redaction of Data

Published: 16th September 2011
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The process of removing information from files is called redaction and is crucial in securing classified information. The data needs to be removed ahead of its publishing. When an editor tries to employ unsuitable technique to clean the data rather than delete the data or he does not know about the important meta data in the file, many problems can arise.

Usually documents are seen using Microsoft word or PowerPoint and then changed to PDF for circulation around the world. The best method of cleaning the information is Redaction.

Various reason due to which the redaction problems occur:

- When you attempt to conceal any confidential information by making it difficult to understand or simply hiding the content. Editors will make an attempt to hide the information with a colored rectangle or simply by highlighting the information in black.

Though these methods are applied to hard copy documents, but they can't be used for electronic documents because of the fact that there are lots of procedures to get the information from the PDF file resulting from it. It is quite possible that the information may be covered intentionally or unintentionally.

- Not being aware about meta-data or the ways in which you can remove it. PDF as well as word document can have meta-data such as subject, author, title and keywords. The author might have no knowledge about meta-data that these applications create, and it might also not be clear unless the user knows where to search for it.

- While redacting images, you need to hide different parts of the image with various graphics such as black rectangles or reducing the size of images. This procedure is also used to redact hard copy printing material. However; this method is not very useful for distributing the documents in soft copy format.

Microsoft Word document and PDF files are sophisticated and complex computer data formats. Both of these documents can contain information such as graphics, text images tables, meta-data, and more all combined together.

Their complicated nature makes them potential vehicles for revealing information without any intention involved, particularly when you are redacting or sanitizing the classified material.

Microsoft Office Word is used for preparing notes, reports and other official and unofficial material.

Adobe Reader is extensively used by many government agencies and military services for dispensing critical information. PDF offers excellent reliability and portability and allows easy distribution of information through computer networks and the internet. PDF is generally used as a format for redacting documents so that they can be published and distributed.

Prior to finalizing your redaction documents, you have to make sure that all the entities are wholly hidden in text.

A few Automated Redaction software has certain characteristics that makes this process very well-organized, such as re-assessing each redaction entity. This step is especially essential when you are redacting a specific search phrase, and also while doing it on a scanned document.

At the end, bear in mind that whatsoever you get to see on the screen, it is not necessary that it will match the content or language of the document as it would be read by the software, thereby creating a little difference.

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