According to the FBI, 1.31 million violent crimes occurred alone in 2021. So, police officers worldwide are constantly engaged in crime prevention. And where there is a crime, there is evidence, including the audio & video recordings of criminals, witnesses, and call recordings of 911 dispatch and more.
But before they proceed the case to court, certain compliances need to be followed that are required to mute specific parts of an audio segment from a video or an audio recording that may reveal Personal Identifiable Information (PII) like name, phone numbers, emails, social security numbers, addresses, credit cards and more from the recordings, or they simply want to bleep an unwanted noise or Sensitive/obscene words from that audio.
But how to do it?
Audio redaction is a major problem because of the increase in digital media usage, as the traditional redaction method was very tedious and ineffective.
This entire process may now be completed in half the time and with little effort. But keep in mind that in order to avoid fines, some redaction laws must be rigorously obeyed.
Learn more about the Redaction process.
What Actually is Audio Redaction?
To put it simply, audio redaction is the process of muting or distorting the audio within a recording to conceal personal or public information.
Understanding what audio redaction is, we can see that it may be used to fulfill professional or compliance requirements in a number of industries. Here are some areas where officials face a greater need to redact audio.
Audio Redaction for Law Enforcement
Police officers spend hours daily performing their responsibilities to maintain law and order. However, the recordings from 911 dispatch or digital evidence of a case need to be first redacted before sharing publicly. These recordings may contain PII information that cannot be disclosed officially under most circumstances.
Several laws, such as AB-748 of California, demand, under most circumstances, for records and evidence to be disclosed to the public after a withholding period of 45 calendar days. But the need to redact PII stays intact, so law enforcement needs a redaction solution.
Besides audio redaction, Police departments need to redact video, images, and document files.
Learn more about Police & Redaction.
Audio Redaction for Court Proceedings
Audio Redaction is necessary to mask all information that is irrelevant or does not hold any weightage for the case during court presentation.
As all kinds of media content are showing up, both the prosecutor and defense must listen to long audio evidence to extract useful information from them and redact all sorts of unnecessary or private information of victims or witnesses for court proceedings.
Automated AI redaction can greatly reduce the time required for this and help legal professionals to focus more on the cases.
Learn more about Audio Redaction in Digital Evidence.
Audio Redaction for Finance Industry
As digital tools are evolving daily, there is also an increase in customers doing their business with banks virtually through video conferencing tools and audio calls.
Data from these recordings contain personally identifiable information (PII) like full name, credit card number, social security number, financial information, Passport etc. and Payment card information (PCI) such as Account holders’ number, ID, phone number, email address, pin codes etc.
This recorded information is becoming a pool for hackers to breach and retrieve confidential information from them.
So, any unprotected or unredacted PII and PCI data that outsiders or unauthorized users share will lead to a breach in data privacy compliance.
Read about the importance of audio redaction in banks.
What Compliances Say About PII Redaction in Audio?
In the above points, we discussed a brief idea about what kind of information needs to be redacted before being released publicly or used in court proceedings. Let’s dive deep into the rules & compliances that need to be followed strictly:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covers entities (Health Providers, Health Plans) and business associates that collect Patient Health Information (PHI) and are bound to follow the HIPAA rules. HIPAA ensures that an individual’s health information is secured.
PHI data under HIPAA compliance could be any information in the form of physical data, digital data or spoken words.
The breach of such information is considered a HIPAA violation and a serious crime resulting in penalties.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures that EU citizens' privacy is protected and their personally identifiable information is not exposed unnecessarily or misused.
Under Article 9, Article 15 and Article 17 of GDPR, all media formats, such as video, audio, document etc., that contain various sensitive data or personally identifiable information must be redacted.
Learn about the fulfillment of GDPR requirements.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) protects all confidential records and personal information from misuse with limited access provisions.
The Privacy Act ensures that the records are not accessible to the public or third parties and have the following basic objectives:
Restrict personally identifiable information from disclosure.
Grant individuals the right to access information about themselves.
Establish a code of “fair information practices” that must be abided by federal agencies for the collection, maintenance, and transmission of records.
Grant individuals the right to look for the amendments done to the data about themselves.
Learn about FOIA Rules for Redaction.
California Rules of Court
As per Rule 1.201 Section (a) of the California Rules of Court requires, all personal information in filings made to court needs to be redacted, and Rule 8.83 of the California Rules of Court requires records to be made available for public access.
CRoC requires audio to be redacted before being presented in court to protect the person's confidentiality and not reveal it to the public.
Learn more about California Rules of Court.
How Can You Benefit from VIDIZMO Audio Redaction Solution?
VIDIZMO Audio Redaction software meets the necessary compliance requirements discussed above. It allows you to detect & track audio segments containing personal information and easily redact them with one click to mute or bleep segments of audio files.
The whole audio redaction process can easily be done in simple steps:
Uploading an Audio File
Selecting the audio segment you want to redact
Choosing a redaction method from options (Mute & Bleep)
Exporting the redacted audio file
Audio redaction is mainly done in two ways in the VIDIZMO tool:
With the help of audio redaction, you can easily mute an entire segment of audio within a recording or manually select different segments per your needs.
Dynamic audio redaction reduces significant costs and labor hours from traditional workflows and makes the entire task easier. You can detect all PII, PCI information and other elements present in a video or audio, which can later be redacted easily.
Bleep Un-Wanted Sounds
Through VIDIZMO audio redaction, you can now easily bleep unwanted noises/obscene words, or confidential information.
With effective use of manual redaction, you can easily bleep out any part of an audio file that may be offensive in nature or reveal some private information. Thus, such kind of audio files must be redacted before being public or being presented as digital evidence in court.
All Audio Formats Supported by VIDIZMO
VIDIZMO Audio redaction tool supports various audio formats ranging from mp3, AAC, HE-AAC, AC3 (Dolby Digital) and many more.
Learn about VIDIZMO-supported Audio Formats.
With the increased usage of digital media, it has been difficult to accurately redact confidential information of large volumes, so it is the key to making this process faster and easier. Thus, helping legal professionals to redact digital audio evidence according to compliance rules and regulations with effective methods is in high demand!
To learn more about the VIDIZMO Redaction tool or if you have any queries, feel free to get in touch with us or schedule a meeting with our sales representatives.