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8 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Video Redaction Software

8 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Video Redaction Software
April 17, 2023
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Manual redaction is a difficult and time-consuming operation that requires extensive editing, particularly when it involves video footage. Video redaction software saves law enforcement and other organizations the labor-intensive task of redacting recordings while still delivering admissible evidence in the form of videos, stills, and photos.

Video redaction software is a powerful tool that allows users to obscure or remove sensitive information from recorded video footage. This can be especially useful for law enforcement agencies, security companies, and other organizations that need to protect the privacy of individuals while still being able to share recorded footage. 

Are you considering purchasing video redaction software, but don’t know which one to buy? With so many different options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for your organization. 

In this article, we’ll look at 8 questions you should ask before buying video redaction software to help you make an informed decision.

1. What Automated Redaction Features Are Included?

Automated redaction features typically include the ability to redact specific types of information, such as personal identifying information (PII) or sensitive business information, across a range of media such as video footage, photos, and audio files.

When comparing video redaction software you need to consider features such as:

  • Area-Based Redaction: With this feature, you can draw a box around an area of an image or video. This area can then be simply redacted, or, if your redaction software leverages AI, used to track a contained object. This is also commonly referred to as “Manual Redaction”.
  • Computer Vision Object Detection: AI detection, tracking, and redaction of select object types like people, faces, vehicles, license plates, etc. This enables users to quickly redact these objects without the tedious manual tracking required by non-AI powered redaction software.
  • Redaction History: This enables you to view and undo previous redactions.
  • Customizable Redaction Options: Allows you to set custom redaction methods, colors, and other styles for redacted areas. 
  • Compliance With Regulatory Standards: Such as HIPAA, SOC2, etc. 

You should also consider looking for redaction software that offers password protection, encryption, and access controls–all of which are critical to safely secure redacted data. Finally, be sure to find out what file types your video redaction tool accepts, to ensure your organization's media files are supported. 

2. What Object Types Can Automatically Be Redacted?

Personal identifying information (PII) like names, phone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, and license plate numbers are among the object types that can automatically be identified in video by AI and then redacted. Personal information even extends to physical attributes that can give us the ability to recognize specific individuals or vehicles. Our faces, hair styles, or even height are characteristics that could indicate an individual, especially if in a small or well-known group.

What Object Types Can Automatically Be Redacted?

3. Am I Able to Apply Any Manual Redactions to Objects or Scenes?

Several automatic redaction tools provide manual redaction options, allowing users to choose manually which data should be obscured. When automatic redaction techniques may not be able to correctly identify the data that needs to be redacted, or if the user wants additional control over the redaction process, manual redaction can be useful.

4. Are There Any Audio Redaction Options?

As video often includes audio, it is important know the capabilities to redacting or editing audio using waveforms and/or transcriptions. To safeguard sensitive material, audio redaction often entails deleting or concealing certain parts of an audio recording. There are several tools that enable users to manually choose or automatically recognize the audio sections they want to redact.

There are two ways to redact audio: 

  • Physical Redaction: Audio files are edited and the segments of audio that need to be redacted are replaced with silence, beep, or are simply removed. 
  • Logical Redaction: Audio files are not edited, but the segments of audio that need to be redacted are marked and can be skipped or replaced with a tone when played.

The techniques used to redact audio will vary depending on the particular software and the user's needs. 

It's crucial to keep in mind that audio redaction may be a challenging operation, particularly when working with live audio or audio that has numerous speakers, since the deletion of certain portions may make it harder to follow the dialogue as a whole. 

Are There Any Audio Redaction Options?

5. What of Video File Types Can I Export To?  And Can I Bulk Export Files?

Depending on the software you're using, you may be able to export to a variety of different file formats. 

The following file formats are usually supported for export:

  • PNG, GIF, and JPG 
  • WAV and MP3
  • AVI and MP4 

In terms of bulk exporting files, some tools only allow you to individually transfer files, while others let you export multiple files at a time. 

6. Can I Redact Multiple Videos at One Time?

Depending on the software, you may be able to choose and redact several videos at once. But others may only allow you to redact one video at a time.

If the software you're using doesn't enable batch processing, you can automate the redaction process using a script or command-line tool; but technical expertise and programming or scripting skills would be necessary for this.

Can I Redact Multiple Videos at One Time?

7. Is It Easy to Use? Do I Need Any Technical Skills?

The user-friendliness of video redaction software varies greatly depending on the specific product. Some of the benefits of an easy to use solution include:

  • Time-saving: Users can quickly and easily locate and redact sensitive information, saving them valuable time. Complicated redaction software may require extensive training, which takes time and effort to master.
  • Cost-effective: Easy to use redaction software tends to be less expensive than complicated software because it generally does not require specialized training or dedicated IT support.
  • Accuracy: Reduces the chance of human error, improving the accuracy of redactions.
  • Accessibility: Being easier to use means it can be used by a wider range of individuals, including those with limited technical skills, allowing organizations to delegate redaction responsibilities to more team members.

8. How Do You Ensure the Best Accuracy in Meeting My Redaction Needs?

Accuracy is one of the most important factors to consider when looking at video redaction software. Follow these steps to ensure the best accuracy in meeting your redaction needs: 

  • Clearly Define Your Redaction Requirements: You should specify what kinds of information needs to be redacted before choosing a specific redaction software.
  • Choose the Right Software: Each software has its own set of features. Make sure that the one you choose meets your needs. 
  • Test the software: You should test the software before using it on important files to make sure it’s working as it should. 
  • Verify the Redactions: It's crucial to check that the software has correctly applied the redactions and that sensitive information is no longer visible. 
  • Keep the Original Files: Always keep the original files and ensure that backups are securely stored. 
  • Train Employees: Employees should be trained to use the software and properly redact sensitive information

Redactor Video Redaction Software

Redactor is a video redaction tool used to quickly and easily redact sensitive information from videos and images. AI technology is used to automatically identify and redact sensitive information, such as faces, license plates, and other personal information. Manual adjustments can be made for fine-tuning the redaction process. 

Advanced features include automatic tracking and redaction of moving objects, bulk upload, edit and exporting, and integration with other video editing software. 

Redacted Visitor Faces Entering an Office Lobby 

If you're interested in trying out Redactor, you can sign up for a free trial. The trial version lets you test all the features but limits the length of the videos that can be redacted and includes a watermark on exported files. 

Overall, Redactor is a powerful and user-friendly redaction software. It is a great solution for individuals or companies who need to safeguard sensitive information in their videos and images.

Tip: Watch a quick demo to learn more.

Get Started with Redactor