According to the dictionary, redaction is "The act or process of editing or revising a piece of writing; preparation for publication." However, in the vernacular, often if something is redacted, it is eliminated. For example, you might have a sensitive document and want to redact -- edit, revise, eliminate, erase -- some of the information in it, such as personal identification information (e.g., Social Security numbers).
A company named Extract Systems has developed a process that will redact -- cover up -- information on digital documents. This documents may have been born digital or digitized. The software uses various rules to locate information that the document owner deems to be sensitive and then blacks it out. The "black bar" that covers the sensitive information is part of the resultant image, so no one can remove it and see what is underneath.
I got to see this software in action a few weeks ago and I found it to be impressive. I can see applications for it in the legal and medical areas as well as with employment records and other documents. From my corporate experience, I know that eliminating sensitive information off of all types of documents can be a real pain. This is a cool tool that could make it easy.
Technorati tag: Document Processing