Thursday, October 18, 2007

When A “xerox” Is Not … An Exact Copy

Redacted Copy Example Image: Redaction simply means to edit, which is what you are doing to the document; however, in the context of government or legal documents, the term has come to be associated with the removal of sensitive/private information. The problem we’ve always had in Acrobat is that blocking out text with tools like the comment tools didn’t really redact a document. Users could still drag the Select tool through a body of text and copy the blocked out text beneath the comment markups, then paste the data into a word processor or text editor and see all the text that was blocked out. (caption from a chat journal on an acrobat users website) Image Credit:

When A “xerox” Is Not … An Exact Copy

We all are familiar with the slang term … xerox, as in, “let’s xerox this page.”, or, I’ll be xeroxing these for the meeting.

This slang term is an ode to the effectiveness and convenience of equipment manufactured by the company that invented the dry writing process formally known as photo-copying (not xeroxing) – XEROX!

XEROX, in an effort to bring more (or should we say less) to the process of photo-copying has come up with a document reproduction process that will create documents that are automatically “Redacted”. That’s right, a xerographic copy with the sensitive, or secure information has been masked out for general distribution outside of a secure “eyes only” environment.

So, when is a “xerox” not and exact copy? … when it has been scanned in and processed via “Intelligent Redaction” software and output on a XEROX Corporation manufactured photocopier, printer, scanner, document handling device.

This excerpted/edited from Network World –

Xerox document security blocks access to sensitive data
Submitted by Layer 8 on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 10:30am

Xerox today touted software it says can scan documents, understand their meaning and block access to those sensitive or secure areas so that prying eyes cannot read, copy or forward the information.

Xerox and researchers from its
Palo Alto Research Center debuted "Intelligent Redaction," new software that automates the process of removing confidential information from any document. The software includes a detection tool that uses content analysis and an intelligent user interface to protect sensitive information. It can encrypt only the sensitive sections or paragraphs of a document, a capability previously not available, Xerox said. The software also creates an audit trail for tracking access.

After information has been classified, that same information will be automatically redacted if it appears in other documents. the "intelligence" ensures a consistent level of security, saves time and increases redaction accuracy,
Xerox said.

Redaction is the ability to control what someone sees. For example, redaction traditionally has been used in legal documents to limit access to information protected by client-attorney privilege. The result is a document that has been censored; certain information within the document is blocked out, Xerox said in a statement.

Traditional redaction has two big drawbacks. It requires a labor-intensive manual process to identify sections to censor, and management of different versions of the same document is cumbersome and difficult, Xerox said. Current software encrypts whole documents, while Intelligent redaction understands document context so it can perform partial encryption. Only sensitive sections or paragraphs are encrypted, while the rest of the document is not.

Researcher see a ton of applications for the software. For example, in a
hospital where security of medical record transfer needs to be ensured. Financial services and government dat transfers also depend heavily on secure documents.

Researchers said the software was still in development and did not release the cost of the package.
Reference Here>>

We, at Symblogogy, suspect that the price list had been "Intelligently Redacted" from the press release materials!

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