Thought Leader Q&A: Christine Musil of Informative Graphics Corporation
Tell me about your company and the products you represent. Informative Graphics Corp. (IGC) is a leading developer of commercial software to view, collaborate on, redact and publish documents. Our products are used by corporations, law firms and government agencies around the world to access and safely share content without altering the original document.
What are some examples of how electronic redaction has been relevant in eDiscovery lately? Redaction is walking the line between being responsive and protecting privilege and privacy. A great recent example of a redaction mistake having pretty broad implications includes the lawyers for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich requesting a subpoena of President Obama. The court filing included areas that had been improperly redacted by Blagojevich’s lawyers. While nothing new or shocking was revealed, this snafu put his reputation up for public inspection and opinion once again.
What are some of the pitfalls in redacting PDFs? The big pitfall is not understanding what a redaction is and why it is important to do it correctly. People continue to make the mistake of using a drawing tool to cover text and then publishing the document to PDF. The drawing shape visually blocks the text, but someone can use the Text tool in Acrobat to highlight the text and paste it into Notepad. Using a true electronic redaction tool like Redact-It and being properly trained to use it is essential.
Is there such thing as native redaction? This is such a hot topic that I recently wrote a white paper on the subject titled “The Reality of Native Format Production and Redaction.” The answer is: It depends who you ask. From a realistic perspective, no, there is no such thing as native redaction. There is no tool that supports multiple formats and gives you back the document in the same format as the original. Even if there was such a tool, this seems dangerous and ripe for abuse (what else might “accidentally” get changed while they are at it?).
You recently joined EDRM’s XML section. What are you currently working on in that endeavor, to the extent you can talk about, and why do you think XML is an important part of the EDRM? The EDRM XML project is all about creating a single, universal format for eDiscovery. The organization’s goal is really to eliminate issues around the multitude of formats in the world and streamline review and production. Imagine never again receiving a CD full of flat TIFF files with separate text files! This whole issue of how users control and see document content is at the core of what IGC does, which makes this project a great fit for IGC’s expertise.
About Christine Musil
Christine Musil is Director of Marketing for Informative Graphics Corporation, a viewing, annotation and content management software company based in Arizona. Informative Graphics makes several products including Redact-It, an electronic redaction solution used by law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies and a variety of other professional service companies.