5 min read

What is Cloud-based Video Redaction?

What is Cloud-based Video Redaction?
January 25, 2023
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There are many benefits to cloud redaction, which is why more and more businesses are moving to this option. It makes things easier by freeing up device space and moving solutions and software off-site. This makes for a more streamlined, agile process. 

Other reasons:

  • Better/Faster processing on cloud than most on-premise systems
  • Much simpler to manage access control to multiple users/account in cloud vs on-premise
  • Quicker and easier deployment in the cloud due to consistent architecture as on-premise machines can differ in a variety of ways.
  • Process of integration with other SaaS solution more streamlined with cloud-based video redaction

Cloud-based redaction tools that can obscure crucial data to mitigate the risk of privacy violations have become an essential means of obscuring by blurring/deleting/censoring images or videos. This ensures that third parties cannot be recognized by anyone entitled to view the document. 

How Does Cloud-Based Redaction Differ from Manual Redaction?

For manual redaction, the user creates a bounding box over the video and removes identifying information by blurring, pixelating, or filling the box with an opaque color. The process is more cost-effective and reduces operational costs since manual redaction is both time-consuming, labor-intensive, and not as accurate.

Next read: Find out more about manual vs automated redaction

It can take hours for a person to manually redact bystanders in a 10-minute video clip since this needs to be done frame by frame, and all faces, license plate registrations, and identifiable objects like cars, trucks, motorcycles, and voices must be redacted to be compliant with current legislation. 

If human error sees any PII not being redacted, this can result in fines for breaking data privacy laws, even if there is no breach.

Sighthound's redaction software helps to incorporate the process into the business's daily workflow allowing fast user-assisted or Artificial Intelligence (AI) fully-automated redaction. It can work at five times the pace of a person, detecting all sensitive information before they can even watch a minute of the clip. 

“After reviewing several different applications we felt [Sighthound Redactor] did the best job and was the easiest to use. The AI picked up on almost everything reducing the amount of time it took for us to complete the redaction process.”

  • Sighthound Redactor customer - Brian B. a System Administrator at Community Hospital

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To give some idea of the speed at which it operates - a 10 minute Zoom call can detect all faces present in 70 seconds.

To give some idea of the speed at which it operates - a 10 minute Zoom call can detect all faces present in 70 seconds.

Benefits of Using Cloud-Based Video Redaction Software vs. Regular Video Redaction Software

Managing the files for redaction when there is a team involved can be problematic because of large file sizes, so despite the need for good internet speeds, it is handy to have the option of customer-cloud or Sighthound cloud-based redaction solutions like Redactor, whose automated redaction services are offered via Application Programming Interface (API). This term refers to how software aids computers in communicating over the internet.

APIs designed specifically for the cloud rather than being cloud-enabled are the solution to problems that make scalability of integration possible for businesses.

Improvements in processing time and additional editing features are continually being developed, and Redactor cloud subscribers continue to benefit from advancements as upgrades occur.

Automatic backing-up of files is a useful feature, and time is saved as collaborative work and accessibility are made easier by a shared cloud subscription. Files can be shared quickly on the web without downloading to a computer.

It is also cost-effective for small businesses since the computers being used won't need upgrading, and there is no need to buy powerful new hardware. You could use an underpowered computer or even a notebook.

Adhering to Privacy Compliance Laws with Cloud Solutions

In cloud services, only a small amount of data is stored on the computer. The rest is stored on a third party's servers, and there are often questions over who is responsible for protecting the information and what guarantees there are of the data being protected.  

PII is protected in the US by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which originates in the EU, but sets the bar for data privacy worldwide, and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), which takes its cue from the GDPR. 

Tip: Learn how to avoid a GDPR fine before it’s too late. 

The pillars this legislation is built on include: data minimization, accountability, integrity and confidentiality, accuracy, storage and purpose limitation, lawfulness, fairness, and transparency.

In January 2023, the California Privacy Right Act (CPRA) is scheduled to come into effect. The aim is to introduce opt-out rights and update legislation to resemble GDPR standards.

This legislation generally regulates who can collect and use data gathered from various sources, including surveillance and body cam footage and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, how long the data can be stored, and it stipulates that consumers can demand access to information that pertains to them. 

Retail shoppers with their faces redacted

When companies comply, they must redact the PII in the footage or documentation about third parties. The CCPA also holds accountable companies which are not compliant.

Other US legislation is fragmented, but states such as Colorado and Virginia are beginning to follow California's lead. At the federal level, there is legislation in various sectors, such as healthcare, where the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (read here) protects and the securing of patients' healthcare information against fraud and theft, as well as providing guidelines around the disclosure of such.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) (visit site) is one of several web-hosted solutions that prioritize monitoring privacy legislation to ascertain clients' obligations in meeting compliance requirements. This is positive in that the clients are often not up to date on privacy law or the ways and means of remaining compliant and avoiding the constant threat of hacking breaches.

Security and Content Control

APIs are provided to ensure access control to services developed or utilized in the cloud. They have policies preventing the service provider from accessing or using your content for their purposes. 

The security assurances offered include access and complete control of content uploaded to the cloud under your account, with specialized encryption and logging capabilities developed to aid in maintaining security. 

Users can choose the regions in which their content is stored, and content can be backed up in other regions but will not be moved or copied outside of the selected region(s) unless this has been agreed to. Encryption features offered are state-of-the-art. 

Security and Content Control

The service provider undertakes not to disclose clients' content unless compelled to by law or by a government body's binding order, in which case, reasonable notice will be given so that the client can seek redress.

Trusted Service providers like AWS allow leverage of a company's existing investment in Microsoft licenses, and clients can use their license in AWS whilst only paying for the underlying software computation. They recognize that business needs change, so existing licenses can be optimized, and additional licenses can be purchased for other requirements.

Among other security measures that can be taken advantage of, AWS clients can further enforce the "need-to-know, right-to-know" concept of least privilege by encrypting their criminal justice information to be accessed only by authorized personnel with encryption keys to comply with the Criminal Justice Information Services Security (CJIS) Policy.

Finding the Best Redaction Service Provider

Whether your business's redaction requirements are cloud-based, Sighthound has an accurate, easily-implemented, fast, and economical answer to suit you. Sighthound has cloud solutions that support subscription offerings that can be tailored to your company's individual needs.  

“I chose Sighthound due to the ease of learning and using their software and the reasonable monthly price plan. I was able to complete my project in less than 1 day using Redactor and I’m ready for the next.”

  • Sighthound Redactor customer - Ronnie D., Marketing Leader

Up and running within a day, Redactor Cloud operates in a secure managed cloud and can be hosted in AWS GovCloud to support CJIS compliance requirements. It caters to single or multiple-user accounts, offering unlimited free technical support and training. We also pride ourselves on keeping abreast of data security legislation and privacy compliance laws that may affect our customers. 

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