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The Intelligent PII Redaction Software – VIDIZMO

An overview of PII, what it is and why you should redact it? And learn how VIDIZMO software can save your sensitive information using redaction for PII.
by Bareerah Shoukat Updated on February 11, 2022

As the data, whether structured or unstructured keeps mushrooming, the number of cybersecurity attacks by people who realize the value of PII continues to climb. Consequently, concerns have been raised as to how private and public organizations handle confidential data.

According to Verizon,16% of the data breaches involved public sector entities. Yahoo holds the record for the biggest data breaches with an estimated 3 Billion user accounts affected.

The famous file hosting service, DropBox, too had a massive data breach in 2012, when the emails and passwords of over 68 million users were compromised. This resulted in several of these users getting spam mail complaints. The whole story started with the account of a single Dropbox employee being compromised.

Even Google has faced data breaches twice in 2018, in which over 50 million users had their personal profile data exposed.

Before everything became digitalized, a data breach was simply viewing an individual's medical details without authorization. So, how will organizations keep the data under wraps. Redacting information is one way of doing so.

Redaction in short, is to restrict publishing access to your personal information. Redacting PII has in fact now become a requirement under most regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) HIPPA.

Compliance requirements in terms of unstructured data have kept on developing. So, properly redacting sensitive information is getting more challenging now specifically from videos like virtual meetings. Meetings and GDPR goes hand in hand. There comes the need for PII redaction software.

Compliances that are particularly clear regarding the implementation of redaction for PII data and concealing other confidential information, such as Rule 8.83 Section (d) (2) of the California Rules of Court (CRoC), also impose the necessity to redact video files before presentation in court.

In this blog, we have given you an overview of personally identifiable information and its types while discussing a use case on how it can be used in identity theft. Furthermore, we have discussed why redaction is important for PII and how VIDIZMO as a PII redaction software helps.

What is PII?

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is the information when used as it is or with other relevant data that can identify a person. It has identifiers such as

  • Direct identifiers or Unique identifiers are PII that can be used to uniquely identify data. These are often numeric in nature and include data such as account numbers, social security numbers, national IDs, etc.
  • Quasi-identifiers are PII that can be combined with other relevant data to identify the person easily. A good example of these can be date of birth, gender, and place of birth, which together can serve as PII information, but individually are neither unique nor very confidential.

A picture with faces (PII) of multiple people.

Fun fact, 87% of the U.S population are uniquely identified by quasi-identifier such as (date of birth, ZIP or gender).

Some people often confuse PII with personal data, and honestly, it's justifiable because the difference between these two is quite vague. It all comes down to the legal framework and whom the data is applied to.

PII infographic

Types of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

PII can be labeled into two types that are sensitive and non-sensitive Personally Identifiable Information. Sensitive PII data could potentially harm the individual when a security breach happens. Sensitive PII includes information such as

  • Full name
  • Credit card number
  • Social security number
  • Financial information
  • Passport number and other private information

Indirect or non-sensitive information can be accessible via public sources like the internet, corporate directories or phonebooks. Examples include

  • Gender
  • Zipcode
  • Race
  • Date of birth
  • Religion
  • Place of birth

The examples are quasi-identifiers that can be issued to the public, which alone couldn’t help in recognizing a certain person.

How Can PII Be Used in Identity Theft?

A number of organizations that are health-related, financial institutions like banks or federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have confidential data that puts peoples’ PII at risk when breached.

Information identity thieves can hack your computers and gain access to different files and types of information. They can open bank accounts, register sim cards or file fraudulent claims with your personal information. In rare cases, convicts can open a bank account with just an email or over the phone; others require name, date of birth, address, social security number and others.

In addition to this, physical files such as bills, birth certificates or NIC can also be stolen when broken into the house. PII can be sold for a significant profit. Some thieves may not use the victims' credit card, but they can steal their identity and open a bank account from their biodata.

Why Is Redaction Important for PII? An Example

In order to tackle the issue mentioned above, you need to redact PII. When you redact PII, basically, you are censoring a part of the information, so it doesn’t steal your or any other individual’s identity. It helps an individual to maintain their privacy and in data segregation. The best practice is to use a tool that uses the latest technology and gives you full confidentiality; otherwise, even the poorly redacted documents can be breached somehow.

Read more in our blog on GDPR Requirements for Redaction.

Let’s take a real-world example. House Democrats publicly released some digital documents regarding the two attacks (2012) over U.S facilities in Libya. It was reported that the portion, where Hillary Clinton's adviser Sidney Blumenthal section was redacted, was viewable as if it was copied from PDF version and pasted on another document.

The same tactic was applied in 2011 to access the redacted information about Apples’ business dealings. It is now a must when you want to redact PII; use PII redaction software.

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VIDIZMO As a PII Redaction Software

Want to get your business compliant with privacy laws quickly and redact PII with the help of AI? Look no further as VIDIZMO gives you the feature of redaction to comply with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, California State Bills 748 and others.

Read More| Video Platform to be HIPAA Compliant

It allows users to automatically redact through AI thus saving time and resources. Pretty helpful for businesses and law enforcement agencies.

VIDIZMO Redaction tool

VIDIZMO redaction tool selects people, objects and other PII to redact them in a selected time frame. Furthermore, you can define custom attributes to redact PII, which will automate business processes as well. Here are some of the main features of the redaction tool:

  • VIDIZMO’s Redaction Tool provides both automatic and manual redaction.
  • On-demand face detection leads to the software being capable of detecting faces right after upload of file for faster redaction.
  • Videos, audio and imagery are supported by the Redaction Tool.
  • VIDIZMO integrates the tool into its complete video content management systems and as a standalone product.
  • The tool is available to use as a browser-based application and has a very simple user interface.
  • The software can automatically track a detected face, person, object or license plate and redact it with one-click throughout the video.
  • For redaction, the elements can either be blurred out, pixelated or masked with a solid box.
  • The tool allows for the labeling of detected and redacted elements for smart search capabilities.
  • VIDIZMO’s products can be deployed over SaaS, cloud (Government and Commercial) as well as on-premises in a datacenter of your choice.
  • The Redaction Tool gives you the option to retain the original file or to overwrite it.
  • The manual redaction option goes alongside automatic to allow for added accuracy and other elements.
  • The software carries the flexibility to be integrated into your existing RMS, CMS and other systems through widgets and API integration.
  • Multiple file ingestion and simultaneous redaction options are available.
  • VIDIZMO is FEDRamp compliant through its partners.

But why only redaction when you can do much more? VIDIZMO is a YouTube-like video content management system for the external and internal audience to stream live and on-demand videos. Upload, store, and manage effectively in a content library with full security and privacy because of role-based access. The platform can be used for multiple end-to-end use cases.

Learn More About Redaction in VIDIZMO


Benefits of a Cloud Video Platform-2

We can offer a tailored solution for redaction, contact our VIDIZMO representative, and make the most of our AI redaction feature.

To learn more about VIDIZMO’s products and their diverse features, contact us here.

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PII is just one type of information that needs to be redacted as there's more. Check out our comprehensive guide on redaction to learn more. 

Posted by Bareerah Shoukat

Bareerah is a product strategist at VIDIZMO - An expert in video streaming technologies. She helps businesses create marketing content that connects with their audience.

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