Data Redaction

Data Redaction is the removal or blocking of particular data in a physical or electronic document

Redaction is the covering, blurring or distortion of data in a physical or electronic document to remove personal, sensitive or intellectual property data.  Typically this method is used for documents that content relevant information for electronic discovery or for court presentation but also contain sensitive information not related to the actual evidence.  Redaction can be accomplished with a stamp or blackout marker for physical documents and is a feature in many data masking solutions (to blackout, blur or distort the original data. 

By redacting personal data in physical and electronic documents, these records are effectively anonymized or de-identified to help control the access of personal and/or sensitive information.

What are some examples of data redaction?

  • Blurring of data so that it is unreadable.
  • Distortion of data so that it is unreadable.
  • Blocking of data.
  • Blacking block overlay of original data.

 How do organizations accomplish data redaction?

  • Manual tasks on physical documents. A sharpie!
  • Custom scripts that allow users to select and redact specific information.
  • Freeware; many tools exist that allow users to redact text in PDF documents.
  • Commercial redaction tools and software solutions.
  • Additionally, some data masking vendors provide redaction capabilities in their products.

Here are additional resources to learn more about redaction: