Extract from Heath Hutchison’s article “5 eDiscovery Features That Automate Data Redaction Processes”
All types of organizations, including corporations, government agencies, and law firms, handle and review tremendous amounts of data. Privileged, sensitive information and even classified data needs to be identified and protected during the discovery process. For individuals, this means personal data, (personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and financial information). For corporations, sensitive information can be intellectual property, trade secrets, financial records, and customer PII. And, of course, the government needs to protect classified data when declassifying information or responding to FOIA Requests.
Risk of Inadvertent Disclosure of Sensitive Information
Applying redactions can be a time consuming and error-prone task, however it is important for legal teams to find and thoroughly sanitize sensitive information to avoid inadvertent disclosure.
Lawyers who fail to properly redact information in confidential documents could run afoul of the American Bar Association’s rule on safeguarding client property (individual and corporate). Inadvertent disclosure can also lead to data protection claims, provide the basis for a malpractice lawsuit or professional discipline, waive the attorney-client privilege, undercut arguments in a case, and more.
Attorneys face two major challenges with the manual data redaction process.