Most eDiscovery requires redaction of information before it can be produced. Thanks to increasing regulations safeguarding personal information, the amount of redaction required is growing. In the U.S., HIPAA, HITECH, Federal Privacy Act and other laws protect the release of personal identifying and private health information. Internationally, the new E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is even more restrictive about preventing disclosure of this data. Traditionally, redaction is a labor-intensive process involving manual review of documents to black out sensitive information. This is very time-consuming and costly. However, technology is available to make redaction easier and faster. Auto redaction tools exist as an add-on to many review platforms. They enable parties to streamline the redaction workflow and significantly reduce time and costs associated with eDiscovery. The right tool increases accuracy and reduces the risk of missing data that should be redacted. In selecting an auto-redaction tool, there are important features that should be included:
- Audit history. The software should maintain a history of when information was redacted and by whom.
- Pattern search and redact. Sensitive data such as Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and personal information (addresses, phone numbers, etc.) have patterns. The software should enable the user to search for all data that matches the selected pattern.
- Redact from imaged documents. The software should be able to read imaged documents in order to redact them.
- Native Excel redaction capability. Often parties do not want to turn an Excel document into an image because data may be lost (ex. formulas, hidden cells, etc.). The software should allow redaction of a full cell as well as data within a cell and permit a targeted search.
- Bulk redactions with content searching. A user should be able to search for a term in order to redact all instances of the term for bulk redaction.
- Auto redact duplicates. The software should be able to identify previously redacted information and block it out throughout the data set.
- Inverse redaction. This allows for redaction of all matches except for something the user has identified.
- Integrated into your review platform. The auto-redaction tool should operate within the review platform.
- Dashboards for easy reporting. Data visualization using dashboard reports gives users a quick overview of how the auto-redaction process is proceeding.
- Quality Control modules. The software should identify the information to be redacted, but then give the user the ability to approve the redaction.
In addition to improving the speed and accuracy of identifying information that must be redacted, auto-redaction technology has another big benefit. It automatically draws the redaction box to black out the redacted material. In manual redaction, the user must take time to draw the box to black out the redacted information. Auto-redaction technology should be incorporated into every review. Technology like this allows lawyers to focus on the substance of the data and the legal aspects of the case, rather than going document by document and manually applying redactions. CDS provides auto-redaction technology built into its Relativity platform. Learn more about CDS’ End-to-End eDiscovery Solutions or contact us for a consultation.