• By Rafay Muneer
  • Last updated: April 25, 2024
  • 6 minute read

Why Contact Centers Need PII Redaction Software

Learn why contact centers should consider using PII redaction software to redact PII from stored customer interactions, call recordings, documents, etc.

Contact centers often collect large volumes of customer data in their ever-growing repositories, whether it's recorded calls, billing information, CSAT surveys, or more. However, when that data contains personal information about customers and clients, using PII redaction software becomes necessary to protect that data and comply with privacy regulations.

Let's say you have a contact center with 2,000 agents, each handling around 40 calls daily. If it operates for five days, this contact center has the potential to serve approximately 400,000 customers a week. A good proportion of those calls will likely contain the callers' personal information.

Besides that, contact centers also capture customer info from various touch points, including social media, emails, and so on. This information poses serious risks if it falls into the wrong hands from accidental exposure or getting leaked as the result of a data breach.

According to an IBM study, an alarming 52% of all data breaches contained some form of customer PII. Now more than ever, contact centers should consider using redaction software to protect this information.

If they don't, they can face severe consequences, including loss of reputation, substantial fines, and legal repercussions.

In this blog, we will examine why PII redaction software is crucial for contact centers and how it helps protect customer data to allow contact centers to comply with data regulatory compliance.

What is PII redaction Software?

PII redaction software is a specialized tool for selectively masking sensitive information in videos, images, audio files, and documents.

Most AI-powered redaction tools can identify sensitive information within the files directly and help the user redact them accordingly. This can involve personally identifiable information (PII), like names, addresses, social security numbers, financial details, or other sensitive data.

Redaction software is necessary to maintain the privacy of this sensitive information and limit access to authorized personnel.

This software empowers organizations to protect sensitive data effectively, ensuring only approved individuals can access the required information. It also upholds the utmost standards of data privacy and security and saves valuable time and company resources by helping streamline the redaction process.

An infographic depicting why contact centers need to use PII redaction software.

Why Do Contact Centers Need PII Redaction Software?

Contact centers frequently handle sensitive information such as names, addresses, social security numbers, birthdates, and financial details, primarily for customer verification and financial transactions.

Data privacy regulations dictate that they must keep this information hidden away from prying eyes or face the consequences of threat actors that can use it for their personal gain.

Protecting Customers Privacy

Contact centers handle PII (Personally Identifiable Information), including customers' sensitive personal data like names, addresses, and Social Security numbers.

Using PII redaction software helps protect people by preventing the exposure of their details. This is crucial, especially when sensitive information could become public in the operational process.

Avoiding Legal Penalties

Numerous regions have strict data protection laws, such as GDPR in EuropeCCPA in California, and state-level laws in the U.S. These laws regulate how organizations can gather and process information about individuals and, more importantly, how they should protect it from disclosure.

Failing to redact PII is a violation, resulting in legal consequences and potential fines. To ensure compliance and avoid lawsuits, contact centers need redacting software that helps them scrub instances of PII that could potentially result in a fallout.

One such case occurred in 2022 when Morgan Stanley paid a whopping $60 million to settle a legal claim that involved the accidental disclosure of customer PII that was recovered from retired equipment.

Building Customer Trust and Confidence

Customers who interact with an organization trust it to keep their personal information confidential. Most people these days are privacy-aware and can be wary of when businesses take more of their data than they should.

According to Pew Research, 67% of Americans say they don't understand what companies do with their data, and a massive 81% are concerned about how companies then use that data.

When data about individuals is leaked, either through a data breach or as a result of accidental disclosure, it hampers the faith and credibility the public has in the ability of corporations to protect their data.

Building trust and confidence among customers not only builds up the contact center's reputation and brand image but also ensures ongoing support, which is vital for attracting and retaining customers and clients.

Cost saving

Efficiently identifying and redacting PII (Personally Identifiable Information) eliminates the need for time-consuming manual editing.

PII Redaction software also helps reduce contact center operational costs by automating the redaction process. This automation saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors, leading to cost savings through improved efficiency and accuracy.

Time is money, and businesses have to spend a lot of it on resources and man-hours. So, any time that a contact center gets back can mean significant cost-savings in the long run.

Agent Training and Coaching

Contact centers have procedures, protocols, scripts, and best practices they ensure when talking to customers. To keep agents familiar with these methods, contact centers often require new hires to listen to recorded interactions that experienced agents have had with customers.

Recorded calls, meeting recordings, and screen share recordings are utilized in contact centers for training and coaching purposes. Supervisors and trainers can review recorded video sessions of customer interactions to provide feedback, identify areas for improvement, and enhance agent performance.

Of course, using real-world examples often means that the recorded conversations will contain the PII of the person on the other end. This makes for a serious data privacy risk as this information leaving the organization could fall into the wrong hands.

To address this concern, contact centers employ audio and video redaction software. This technology allows them to redact all instances of PII from recorded audio and video calls, safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.

What Information Needs to be Redacted in Contact Centers?

Although contact centers may need to redact various degrees of information, there are two main categories that usually require redaction. These include:

  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII): PII encompasses a range of data used for identity verification, including but not limited to personal details like name, age, date of birth, driver's license number, Social Security Number (SSN), biometric records, email ID, and birthday.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): PCI involves cardholder information like debit and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Organizations like merchants, vendors, and contact centers that handle credit or debit card data must follow PCI DSS standards.

In addition to PII and PCI, other sensitive data types, such as Protected Health Information (PHI) and Non-Public Information (NPI), require redaction.

Regulations like HIPAA and the GLB Act mandate the careful handling and censorship of these types of information to maintain privacy and legal compliance.

How Do Contact Centers Redact Information?

When redacting information, contact centers often have to choose between manual redaction and automatic redaction to redact sensitive information.

Manual Redaction

Manual redaction refers to the method of manually going through media files and marking the sensitive information contained within. For example, manual redaction of audio files may involve listening to the audio and highlighting sensitive information in the timeline of the audio.

For contact centers, manual redaction could involve something as simple as importing files into editing software and cutting out the parts that contain PII. But imagine having to do that for thousands and tens of thousands of calls. It can make the job extremely difficult.

While it offers precision, manual redaction can be time-consuming and prone to errors. In organizations with limited resources, this can put a strain on their productivity and efficiency.

Automatic Redaction

The alternative to using manual redaction is to use AI-powered redaction software. These kinds of redaction tools automatically scan and identify sensitive data, such as PII and PCI, within documents, images, audio files, or videos.

Automated redaction significantly improves efficiency and minimizes the risk of oversight. It automatically identifies PII and helps the user redact it. AI-powered software uses AI and ML algorithms for processing and efficiency.

Automatic redaction also has the benefit of allowing the user to perform advanced redaction methods like redacting files based on a specific keyword, redacting information based on a common pattern, or redacting multiple files in bulk.

VIDIZMO Redactor for Contact Centers

Looking to simplify the redaction process for your contact center? VIDIZMO Redactor is an all-in-one audio, image, document, and video redaction software with AI-power redaction capabilities. It allows contact centers to automatically detect and redact 30+ PII entities in audio and video files.

What's more, VIDIZMO Redactor allows you to manually redact audio in your audio and video files by searching for specific words in the AI-generated transcript.

This functionality empowers contact centers to exercise precise control over PII processing and detection at the time of uploading video and audio files. Besides this, VIDIZMO Redactor allows you to:

  • Redact multiple files in bulk: Redacting thousands of customer-filled forms or millions of recorded calls is an issue of the past. Simply select multiple files at once and redact them in one go.
  • Redact scanned documents with Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Redact loads of scanned documents easily using VIDIZMO Redactor.
  • Redact using your own rules: Use regular expressions to define what to redact and watch it get automatically redacted.
  • Take control with manual redaction: Use intuitive manual redaction tools to target image, video, audio, and document redaction in specific areas.
  • Create separate redacted copies: Generate a redacted copy of your file after redacting and keep the original intact.
  • Search through files with AI-enhanced search: Find the file you're looking for among thousands with extensive search capabilities using tags, spoken words, metadata, and more.

This robust feature set empowers contact centers to maintain compliance, enhance data security, and streamline content management.

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Redact Customer PII Now

In a world of growing regulations to safeguard PII and other sensitive data, having PII redaction software is no longer an option for contact centers; it has become an absolute necessity.

Contact centers must embrace the implementation of redacting software to ensure compliance, protect customer privacy, and maintain the trust of individuals who rely on these centers to safeguard their sensitive information.

Sign up today for a 7-day free trial of VIDIZMO Redactor to see what it can do, or contact us to learn more.

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People also ask

1. Who uses redaction?

Redaction is used in different industries, including law enforcement, legal, healthcare, education, communications, etc.

2. What does redact mean?

Redact means to conceal information that should be kept confidential. For instance, in an investigation, all parties not relevant to the case must be hidden, with their faces blurred out.

3. Is redaction permanent?

If done correctly, redaction permanently obscures sensitive information in media files. Once it's done, there is no way to return the information.

4. Why do you need PII redaction software?

PII redaction software is necessary to remove PII from media files. When you redact PII, you remove parts of information that can be used to steal one's identity. Basically, all instances of sensitive information like SSNs, addresses, full names, license numbers, etc., should be removed to ensure privacy and security.

5. What is the use of redaction tools?

Redaction tools are used to help conceal sensitive, confidential, classified, or personally identifiable information from files as needed.

Posted by Rafay Muneer

Rafay is a Senior Product Marketing Strategist at VIDIZMO. He is driven to explore data protection and redaction solutions across various sectors. For any inquiries or assistance, feel free to get in touch at websales@vidizmo.com.

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