By Mark Sutton
Software will automatically control access to sensitive information in documents
Xerox and the Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) have demonstrated new technology to protect the content of sensitive documents. The ‘Intelligent Redaction' software allows users to define which data in a document is sensitive, and the software will then automatically encrypt all mentions of the data throughout the whole document, allowing only authorised users to see it.
The software has been designed for use in areas such as legal or medical documents, where some parts of the document may contain private information. Traditionally, sensitive information had to censored from documents by hand, and multiple copies of the same document had to be maintained for different users. Intelligent redaction will automate the censoring process, and mean that a single copy of the document can be used for all readers. The software, which is still under development, will also include an audit trail in case the document is compromised.
Ben Gale, general manager, sales & marketing, Xerox MEA said: "The tools available today can't provide sufficient content analysis and security because it's difficult to determine what is sensitive. In a large organization the level of sensitivity changes depending on the person accessing the document. The sheer numbers of documents to be tracked and sorted further complicates the problem." PARC, a Xerox company, is famous as the birth place of many technology innovations such laser printing, distributed computing and Ethernet, graphical user interface (GUI), object-oriented programming, and ubiquitous computing.