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Smart redaction and auto-classification for FOIA & Public disclosure requests

Brenda Dodd |April 9, 2019|Read time: 2 min

When it comes to Public Records requests, what I hear most from FOIA and Public Disclosure Officers is how critical it is to "get it out" and "get it right." Our clients are under great pressure to respond to each request by the legal deadline ("Get it out!") while also ensuring that no sensitive or exempt documents are released ("Get it Right!"). 

Failure to respond to a request within the required timeline can result in penalties and fines, yet in the rush to review and provide the responsive records, the risk of inadvertent disclosure is high. The good news for ZyLAB ONE public disclosure users is that our Auto-classification and Auto-redaction features mean not having to choose between the need to "get it out" and "get it right!"

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When ZyLAB ONE processes emails, documents, audio/video, or any of the other hundreds of supported file types, it can classify the data into categories before your review begins. The first time you start to look at the documents in ZyLAB ONE, the categorization facets will indicate which documents contain potentially sensitive or exempt information.

Whether it's social security numbers, banking info, ID numbers or even documents containing a juvenile’s information, ZyLAB ONE can show you which documents contain potentially sensitive information and need your attention. Auto-classification can also show you the data owner, source of the files, types of files and even review progress and disclosure readiness, so you know where you are at every step of the process. 


Remember the days of printing out files, blacking out sensitive information with a marker, photocopying the document because you could still see the redaction text through the marker…(I’m exhausting myself just writing about it, and, sadly, I still run into organizations where this is the practice!)? Even organizations using electronic tools to apply redactions often spend a tremendous amount of time pouring over each document, painstakingly searching for sensitive information and manually applying those redactions.

ZyLAB ONE's auto-redaction capabilities enable you to let the system automatically redact sensitive information. But that's not all, there's more! In addition to the automatic redaction, the reason for the redaction will automatically be recorded and used to populate and exemption log and redaction report. So what happens when you do want a human to manually apply a redaction? ZyLAB ONE has you covered again, providing you with pre-populated exemption and redaction reason codes. When it does come time to disclose the records (“Get it out!”), you'll know that sensitive information has been protected (Get it Right!).

Auto-classification and Auto-redaction features are just two of the ways ZyLAB ONE can help you. To learn more, listen to the recording of our webinar “Get it out" and "Get it right!”

Brenda Dodd
Brenda is a Certified eDiscovery Specialist with over 20 years of experience in eDiscovery and public records disclosure/FOIA technology. Leveraging her unique combination of experience, she has helped law firms, corporations and government entities define best practices and procedures for cost-effective and efficient management of electronically stored information for legal review and disclosure.

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