Thank you for joining us again for the fifth chapter of our AI Redaction series. Now that we’ve covered the basics of redaction, redacting documents with AI, the best practices for redaction and how to implement them, and how automated redaction software and services work, we turn our attention to the ins and outs of video redaction. 


Video editing for any purpose is a time-intensive process–even a 30-second social media video could take hours to put together. Redacting confidential information and personally identifiable information (PII) from video evidence and video surveillance takes even more time. 

However, in order to keep the PII of innocent bystanders and law enforcement personnel safe, video redaction is crucial. AI-powered video redaction software starts to remove the human element, taking the brunt of the workload in regard to video redaction, and freeing up resources for law enforcement and justice agencies. 


The challenges of video redaction

The average video contains 30 individual frames per second of video footage, and when manually redacting PII from video evidence, law enforcement personnel and members of justice agencies have to edit videos frame-by-frame. A 30-second video could contain as many as 900 frames or more, and an experienced technician could take as many as eight hours or more to redact PII in a 10-minute video clip.

When a human technician redacts video evidence, you introduce the element of human error; what if the technician misses an innocent bystander’s face in the background, or a license plate, or a badge number? Someone’s privacy, or even safety, could be at risk. 

Unfortunately, not all video evidence that needs redaction is pleasant to look at. If a human technician has to redact gory or disturbing video evidence, like footage of a violent crime, repeatedly viewing such traumatic images could have a negative effect on that technician’s mental health and quality of life. 

AI-assisted video redaction exists to remedy these issues in a plethora of ways. It can accelerate the video redaction process, saving up to 90% of the time it would take to manually redact video evidence. AI-powered video redaction software can reduce the mental strain on human technicians, catching PII they might have missed or redacting PII from graphic content that might take a toll on an individual’s mental health. 

Video redaction in different industries

Video redaction is used frequently by law enforcement agencies, in order to prepare video evidence for viewing by different populations—for use by news agencies or as evidence in the courtroom. In either case, it is imperative that this video evidence be devoid of any PII that isn’t related to the focus of the evidence. Bystanders’ faces and license plates need to be removed, as well as any other information that could be used to identify a witness. 

Security agencies and legal entities, who generally prepare and submit video evidence for purposes similar to law enforcement, have similar responsibilities to preserve the safety of PII. Maintaining confidentiality of sensitive information is also of the utmost importance, and redacting video evidence can also help avoid legal liability.  

Legal teams may also have to compile and redact data to provide the correct information to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Data is redacted in these types of requests in order to protect personal privacy, maintain confidentiality, ensure compliance with the law, and preserve the integrity of the legal process. As we detail in Chapter 2 of our blog, legal documents fall under a specific set of redaction constraints. 

Types of information commonly redacted:

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social security or driver’s license numbers, medical or financial information, and more

Confidential or proprietary information

  • Financial information, domain names, trade secrets, copyrights, ideas, techniques, inventions, and more

Financial information

  • Financial transactions or statements, bank account or credit card numbers, credit ratings, payment histories, and more 

Medical or personal health information

  • Medical history, treatments, conditions, insurance information, and more

Information related to ongoing legal proceedings

  •  Ongoing litigation or settlement negotiations, information that could be prejudicial to the outcome of a legal case

Sensitive personal information

  • Information about an individual’s sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or political disposition 

Children’s information

  • Information, such as names and addresses, of minors

Video redaction software and tools

Video redaction software can speed up the redaction process by a significant margin. Veritone Redact automates the video redaction process by automatically tracking sensitive imagery and detecting relevant items such as heads, license plates, officer notepads, and laptops. This functionality all but eliminates the need for a human technician during this tedious portion of the redaction process, meaning nobody has to take on the mental burden of obscuring the faces in a video of a violent crime or other traumatic incidents. 

If an individual user needs to redact data not automatically detected by the aiWARE platform at the core of Veriton Redact, that user has the option to manually define objects to obscure. Veritone React will then allow the user to use their cursor to follow that item throughout the video or opt to let the AI-powered redaction software track the defined field through the rest of the video. 

Unlike many AI-powered video editing tools available, Veritone Redact is developed specifically for use by public safety and justice agencies, meaning it comes equipped with functionality to aid in chain of custody requirements, collaboration between users, and maintaining audit logs of all actions taken. 

In addition, Veritone Redact can come as part of Redact Managed Service, a white glove managed service aimed at providing professional support for law enforcement agencies and legal organizations without requiring them to invest in new technology. This service handles maintaining, monitoring, and reporting via its AI-powered redaction software, allowing quick delivery of quality, professionally redacted files to clients. Redact Managed Service also helps with FOIA compliance by quickly making redacted records available, helping build community trust in local law enforcement and legal agencies. 


Thank you for continuing to join us for our AI redaction series. Here, we discussed the challenges of video redaction, focussing on how time-consuming the process is and the toll it has the potential to take on the technicians manually obscuring the video. AI-assisted video redaction software can cut the time to redact a video by 90%, which comes out to massive time savings when it can take up to eight hours to redact a single 10-minute video.  

We detailed the different industries that might make use of video redaction software, from security to the legal and law enforcement fields, and the different benefits video redaction software offers to each type of organization. In addition, if you need a reminder of the type of information commonly redacted from files, it has been summarized. 

Lastly, we outlined the capabilities of AI-powered video redaction software like Veritone Redact and Redact Managed Service, a white-glove managed AI-powered redaction service. In our next chapter, we’ll discuss redacting audio files. If you or your team are interested in AI-powered automated redaction software or redaction services, contact a Veritone team member to learn more.