New software aims to automatically redact sensitive information, like Social Security numbers, addresses and names from electronic public documents as governments produce those documents. Normally governments take the extra step of running electronic batches of those documents through redaction software before dispersing them. The product is called Redact-It Enterprise Server from Informative Graphics, a content management software provider.

"It can monitor file folders automatically. When new content is put in that file folder, it triggers a redaction process," said Gary Heath, CEO of Informative Graphics.

State and local governments have been under pressure to redact Social Security numbers from online public documents for the past few years. Many agencies began publishing tax liens, uniform commercial code (UCC) -- laws designed to standardize commercial transactions among all 50 states -- and other public documents around 2000. Title researchers produced huge efficiencies by accessing the documents on the Web. However, the sensitive information public documents often displayed -- like Social Security numbers, addresses and account numbers -- left citizens more vulnerable to identity thieves.

Numerous governments have already redacted Social Security numbers, and many others plan to do the same. Technology designed to redact information from those already on-record documents has been crude and inaccurate. Redact-It Desktop, another Informative Graphics product released earlier this year may resolve common complaints about redaction products already on the market.

View Full Story
Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former staff writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.