9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2012 11:21 AM by the_wine_snob

    Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.

    fmmisa

      Hi All...

      My searches on redaction - all reference Adobe Acrobat and PDFs....

      What if I'm filming an interview with cuts to computer monitor/software - where some fields may have private information....

      Name, SocialInsurance Number, CreditCard Numbers etc. etc.

       

      Is there a purpose built tool - or best practice for redaction of this information....

       

      I've thought of just using a text-box (the titler tool) with an opaque color/fill... BUT my fear is that even after

      I burn/encode the source AdobePremiere content to MP4/etc. someone might still be able to reverse engineer or extract

      the video that is beneath these text-box/titles...

       

      Sorry - if this has been answered already...

      Seems to me - to be a very common use-case...

       

      Also - any links/thoughts on dealing with the strobe/synch-lines on video taped computer monitors...

      Can this be done in post-edit..... or is this something that is mitigated by choosing the right frame-rates - while recording ?

       

      Really hope someone here - has more thoughts on this.

       

      Thanks

      Frank

        • 1. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          If it's burned in, there's nothing anyone can do to get what was underneath without also having access to the originals.  The video "restoration" capabilities you see on crime shows these days is pure fiction.

          • 2. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
            fmmisa Level 1

            Wow - that was fast !

            Thanks very much...

             

            * By burned - you just mean encoded to a video file format for distribution...

            * Am I correct - in thinking the Premiere "Titler Tool" is the best way to do this...

               Or would you be using some other technique within Premiere to achieve this ends ?

             

            Thanks !

            • 3. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              There are ways of encoding timecode and subtitles that can be turned on or off.  "Burned in" means it's there permanently, you can't turn it off.

               

              How you do it is really of little consequence.  Any method is as good as any other.

              • 4. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                fmmisa Level 1

                Hi Jim...

                 

                I'm marking this correct - because it seems you have experience with this - and I trust your information.

                I just need clarification...

                 

                >>is really of little consequence

                I disagree !

                 

                Excuse my inexperience with this...

                 

                * Is the "Burn in" approach of flattening the timecode/subtitle information - in a way - that prevents seperating out this information again an option that is selected when one "encodes" the source to a video format.

                * Or is it - an innate characteristic - of the video format that one chooses ? For example - if you choose one type of video format to export to - you have no security (titles can be turned off) but if you select some

                other video format - then you get better security ?

                 

                I need to assure/guarantee our security auditors that this information will be lost once the source is encoded and distributed...

                 

                Do we have some best practice on this ? articles discussing what approach/format etc. is best...

                 

                Hope I'm not complicating...

                 

                Thanks

                Frank

                • 5. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                  shooternz Level 6

                  When you have masked (hidden) the areas with a replacement object...the old pixels are "replaced" by the new pixels.  That is what Jim means by "burned in"

                   

                  BTW - do a test.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                    fmmisa Level 1

                    Thanks Guys...

                     

                    Yes, definitely - I'll do a test...

                    But

                    * it's one thing - to see a blank square on the screen - and think - yes - the original video has been replaced....

                    * it's another thing - to be certain - that at the byte code level - some experienced hacker couldn't still reverse engineer the original pixel information....

                     

                    I don't know enough about encoding formats - or the binary representation of this video/picture information - to be able to speak to the second point...

                     

                    But I think you guys are saying the same thing...

                     

                    Drop any transparent layer onto top of the video - with opaque objects, boxes, titles - whatever....

                    When the final video is encoded - the top level video artifacts - will be "burned-in" to the background video - making it impossible for anyone to figure out - what was originally there ?

                     

                    Right...

                     

                    Thanks very much guys !

                    • 7. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      Like I said, what you see on TV about video restoration is largely fiction.  No one can "restore" image information that simply isn't there.

                       

                      What I meant is that how you cover it won't matter.  Whether it's a title, a JPEG, a Photoshop file, etc.  Covered is covered.  The end results will be identical.

                      • 8. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                        SFL46 Level 3

                        The text you are trying to redact is a arrangement of video pixels and is not text.  If you lay a opague overlay ontop and render the file, the original video is no longer there.  While a PrPro sequence might show multiple overlaid tracks, the exported video file is only one track deep.  There is no way to separate that track into the tracks that appeared in the PrPro sequence.  That track arrangement is stored in thePrPro project file, not the exported video.

                        • 9. Re: Redaction, removal from video of client personal information.
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          What happens with a non-destructive NLE (Non Linear Editor), such as PrPro, is that what you see in the Timeline is but a proxy. The original material is not actually there, but is linked to the Project, which is just an XML database, with those links and instructions. Also, that Timeline does not yet exist, as an AV file. That comes upon Export. Then, PrPro will look at the instructions written into the PRPROJ file, via XML. It goes to the linked Source Files, and gathers the necessary data from them, then performs the instructions on that data, creating the new AV output file. There are no Layers, or Tracks in that output file, but just the pixels created via those instructions. If those pixels show a black rectangle, that is all there is. any "underlying" Video does not exist in that output file - only black pixels. It would be the same, if one had Clips on a Video Track, but turned that off and Exporoted. Though those Clips exist in the Timeline/Sequence, they do not exist in the output file.

                           

                          Good luck,

                           

                          Hunt