Redaction Capabilities And Digital Asset Management: What You Need To Know

Stephen McAreavey
August 12, 2022

Manually redacting sensitive information from images and videos can be a large drain on resources for organisations who are already operating on tight budgets and timelines, such as police forces. A necessary but demanding task, redaction is used by many data-protection focused organisations to help secure information that is being shared externally.

Digital asset management (DAM) platforms with built-in redaction capabilities are presenting a good solution for those seeking an efficient way to redact elements of their content. Packaged with the usual storage/sharing/editing capabilities of a DAM, platforms with built-in redaction offer a cost effective solution, as there is no need to procure additional redaction software or invest in complex and extensive staff training.

Not every DAM platform will include redaction, and those that do are not necessarily created equal. Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider if you’re exploring DAM and redaction.

What does redaction look like in a DAM platform?

Built-in redaction capabilities are designed to work seamlessly within the DAM platform. There is no need to download the asset in question before running it through a separate software application, the function is easily accessible and intuitive to use. This ability empowers all DAM users to be able to perform redactions, and allows law enforcement to preserve the chain of evidence by minimising downloads—an extremely valuable ability when handling sensitive information. 

Although there is still a role for specialists to tackle the most complex redaction requirements, the DAM’s ability to handle many requests can take the pressure off these specialists and allow them to focus on the most difficult redaction requests instead.

Video and audio redaction within the Aetopia DAM platform.

What are the use cases of redaction within a DAM platform?

Anyone can use the ability to redact and conceal information to their advantage, whether enterprise or public sector, but there are a few specific use cases where the feature is most useful.

Evidence management

In the Policing and security market, redaction can be used to blur anything in an image and video which isn't relevant to the case or investigation. For example, an interview with a member of the public that shows a child in the frame. The child would normally be redacted out of the image or video before it was used for a prosecution. By having in-built redaction, forces can blur evidence easily and efficiently, with minimal downloads or transfers between software.

Enterprise confidentiality

Enterprise users can take advantage of their DAM’s redaction to ensure they data protection. Much more sophisticated and reliable than the usual “find and replace” solution enterprises use, DAM’s redaction capabilities efficiently conceal information from its source.

Safeguarding within charities

Charities often have to balance handling extremely sensitive information whilst pushing out content as part of fundraising efforts. Being able to redact information from assets where they’re stored is hugely beneficial to these types of organisations, as it enables them to efficiently produce campaigning materials whilst keeping confidential information safe.

Image redaction in process within the Aetopia DAM platform.

What are the benefits of having redaction within your DAM platform?

DAM platforms are inherently secure.

If your chosen DAM platform is secure, you have added peace of mind that your redaction capabilities are fit for purpose. With enhanced security features, such as permission-based access, you can rest assured that only designated users can access your redacted documents.

Redaction when and where you need it.

When redaction capabilities are integrated into your DAM platform, you can easily conceal information in your assets in the place they’re hosted. Not only does this streamline workflows and enable any DAM user to perform the action, but it adds an extra level of security for those extra-sensitive documents which benefit from as little transfer as possible.

Complete audit trails show who implemented redactions and when.

The DAM platform can produce a complete record of redaction history that helps organisations meet legal requirements and be audit-ready. The “find and replace” solution many use is not this comprehensive and won’t provide the same papertrail. 

Which DAM platforms have redaction capabilities?

Aetopia is one of the very few enterprise DAM solutions with built-in redaction capabilities for images and videos. Choosing a DAM provider can be difficult, there are many options which all offer a variety of features. Aetopia DAM’s built-in redaction capabilities give us the edge as they enable organisations to streamline workflows and provide an extra layer of security—a definite benefit for organisations who handle sensitive data.

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