Redact, highlight and change sensitive information in a report faster and more efficiently

Redact, highlight and change sensitive information in a report faster and more efficiently
2022-05-24 Paliscope

Where do great ideas come from? For us, they often come from talking to our customers and from there we start to spin. In this article, we want to present how our newest solution in YOSE™, wherein you can redact, highlight and change sensitive information in a report faster and more efficiently, came alive.

We want to share the story behind it since it’s actually a really good story and shows how things often work for us.

The INTERPOL meeting where it all began

Imagine this: A group including a few police officers, several government officials and our very own vice president Christian Berg are walking home from the first INTERPOL meeting in three years because of the pandemic. Everyone is in high spirits and ideas fly around from one person to another.

They walk into a bar and this dialogue happens:

[Redacted friend] So Christian, is it possible to redact information in YOSE?

[Christian] Almost, but I can see improvement opportunities here, why?

And thus the seed was sown.

Christian’s friend (who we can’t mention by name) explained that in the police agency where he works, they have a lot of trouble with redaction. He said they are doing it manually and it takes a lot of time, sometimes weeks, to go through one report.

Also, if they miss something, like redacting a name from a grooming case, it can become a serious concern or even a tragedy for the victim(s). There are literally no room for mistakes.

From idea to reality

Christian’s mind was already brewing with ideas and he told his friend that it would be possible in the next update of YOSE. The idea was well suited for YOSE, in which you could already handle chat and email dialogues.

So Christian went back to his team and immediately started working on the new update.

YOSE already had a feature to search for and find words, and more importantly, we had complete control over the output to the screen and printer. So the first part of the job was done. Now they just had to make it possible to put black boxes over the words. Of course, putting a black box to cover one word is simple, but doing it when you, for example, have a large amount of chat dialogues is far more complex.

Christian and his team worked on a solution, and when it was complete, he talked with his friend and showed him the new feature.

[Redacted friend] That’s great, but it would be even better if you could somehow collect all the emails, phone numbers, and bitcoins in one place so they can be redacted all simultaneously.

With these words, Christian went back to the drawing board to set about solving this new request. As YOSE already had the solution in Chat Analytics, it was not only a good idea; it was easy to implement.

This is how the process continued until what we today call “True Redaction” was released.

“In the end, the solution we ended up creating is so much more than just redacting words.”

This is Paliscope Redaction Center

In the end, the solution we ended up creating is so much more than just redacting words.

Paliscope Redaction Center includes features to:

  • Redact or replace any text in messages
  • Highlight what’s important
  • Replace any text with an alternative
  • Mask an entire message
  • Redact images attached to messages
  • Keep track of and manage all redactions in one convenient place
  • Use case-wide lists to quickly and consistently redact across all conversations without missing any occurrences
  • Export the result in an attractive “WhatsApp style” layout to paper or screen for easy reading
  • Use the unique chat player to make every conversation or scenario easy to understand for your audience. Including the redactions, highlights, or word replacements
  • Work for any source of interaction such as chat, email, darknet, call logs, etc.
  • The redaction is done in the export phase, meaning you can always change and edit. Once exported, the redaction is irreversible since what is being redacted is never printed in the document.

These are all features that will save police agencies vast amounts of time, which they can use to catch criminals instead.

“I was watching a crime show one day, and the camera zoomed in on a document where they had highlighted some important information with a highlighting pen. It hit me then: it is just as important to highlight words as to redact them.”

A crime tv-show inspired the Highlight feature.

So there it is. The story about how Christian worked together with his police friend and his creative team to build the next big tool for worldwide police agencies.

But.

Of course, inspiration can come from anywhere. One of the features of True Redaction Center was actually inspired by a TV show.

Christian tells the story:

“I was watching a crime show one day, and the camera zoomed in on a document where they had highlighted some important information with a highlighting pen. It hit me then: it is just as important to highlight words as to redact them. When you get a report with 300 pages, you want to find the important information easily without reading every word”.

It took some time to find the right colors. You know that screaming green and yellow color from a highlight pen. But, in the end, they found it and implemented it all in YOSE’s newest solution “True Redaction Center”

Creating solutions to real-life issues

We hope you liked the story as it is similar to how we’ve developed many of our tools. We build products by talking to our customers and always being accessible for new ideas.

We listen to real-life issues and create solutions for them instead of wasting time and resources trying to solve problems that don’t exist.

After we get an idea, we iterate internally. What is the real problem we should solve? We get inspiration from other places to enhance the seed idea. Together with the idea provider, we iterate to the end solution. Then we release it to customers.

Do you want to know more about Paliscope Redaction Center or even have a free trial?

Please fill in the form, and we’ll get back to you.

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