In the past decade, video footage has entered the court as familiar evidence. With closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), body cameras and other types of video evidence recorded in most public spaces, the general public needs privacy in light of legal proceedings. At Primeau Forensics, we offer audio redaction services and video redaction services to support privacy during litigation.
WHAT IS AUDIO/VIDEO REDACTION?
When video footage becomes evidence, there is often information or people included in the clip that doesn’t relate to the case. This footage might come from a CCTV or a body-worn camera. Whatever the circumstances may be, audio and video redaction are methods to remove content not valuable to the court.
Redaction is the intentional removal or concealment of information in a multimedia recording. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for redaction of digital recordings and associated data, which may include video, audio, and metadata streams. The application of redactions may include video recorded by body-worn cameras, in-car video systems, digital video recorder systems, 9-1-1 phone calls, jail calling services, crime scene video, and video evidence collected during an investigation.
As with paper documents, it is common for an organization to redact confidential information, content graphic in nature, or information safeguarded by privacy provisions prior to release outside the organization. SWGDE Video and Audio Redaction Guidelines Ver. 2.0 PG. 4
As a practice of video forensics, redaction must maintain the footage’s integrity while filtering out the unimportant content. This method ensures the video clip is still accurate and factual without disrespecting individual privacy.
The Freedom of Information Act is the law that keeps citizens informed about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA, unless it falls under exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.
AUDIO/VIDEO REDACTION FAQs
A: Yes, Primeau Forensics has the tools to automatically as well as manually redact audio as well as video recordings.
A: We sign nondisclosures regularly because often times video recordings are sensitive and protected, send us a sample of the video recording so we can provide an accurate quote.
A: Yes, we have contracts with many law enforcement organizations, State Attorney Generals and other law enforcement agencies. We provide contract pricing for any organization needing bulk contract services.
A: Yes, we do all our video and audio redactions in house under our forensic experts’ supervision. We can remain flexible with activity in order to remain fiscally and financially flexible.
A: The team at Primeau Forensics can handle any type of audio, video and now image redaction assignment you encounter. We can also share a plan for tracking the progress and updates as your FOIA requests come in.
A: The first thing we will do is schedule a video conference call to discuss your methodology for tracking the progress of your redactions. We will prepare a formal proposal for your consideration and adopt your internal communication structure into our methodology for outsourcing implementation.
A: Yes, not only can we work on the audio redaction and resync to the original video, but we can also offer forensic video enhancement so the recorded evidence is more presentable to the Trier of Fact.
Audio/Video Redaction Pricing
The costs of our services depend on the type of redaction we need to perform. In civil court cases, the requesting party is often responsible for the price. These services can become involved when there are many people in the footage, which can increase costs.
We’re focused on finding the best redaction methods for your video without driving the cost beyond your means. We’ll ask the right questions and identify the most economical way to redact information without abandoning individual privacy. And in an effort to do so, we offer a free preliminary video consultation to our prospective redaction clients that complies with FOIA and HIPPA requirements.
TYPES OF VIDEO WE REDACT:
HOSPITAL CCTV VIDEOS
This type of redaction is a somewhat automated and often manual process that requires a hands-on approach of removing people’s faces, HIPAA objects like paperwork on the desks, wall signage, and other private information from CCTV video recordings. Routine facial blurring of individuals who are not part of the event or FOIA request requires mapping and tracking features that are manually added to accommodate FOIA mandate.
POLICE DASHCAM RECORDINGS
Most police dashcam systems record both audio and video, both of which may have to be redacted. Audio sources include dispatch audio and officer-worn body microphones. These recordings often include non-FOIA compliant information, such as faces of bystanders, license plates, crime scene details still under investigation, as well as dialogue transmitted over the radio by officers, such as cell phone numbers unrelated to the recorded events.
POLICE BODY CAMERA REDACTION
There is a large increase in the use of police worn body cameras that create a tremendous amount of content subject to redaction. These recordings are often released to the media and are subject of scrutiny by everyone involved. Often the media trims or edits body camera content to represent a portion of the event. The body cameras may generate recordings by law enforcement officers that will be involved in litigation. These recordings often include non FOIA compliant information like bystanders faces, license plates, crime scene details still under investigation as well as dialogue spoken by law enforcement officers that is not related to the events being recorded.
INTEVIEW ROOM CCTV VIDEOS
Police interview redaction is a somewhat automated and often manual process that requires a hands-on approach. Since the persons are almost always not moving in this type of video, the redaction process is less laborious. In this case, we blur lips where words that are redacted have been removed. This is to honor the judge’s request for the removal of information.