When handling requests made under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, disclosure exemptions may apply to certain information. This information may be withheld by full omission, or certain portions of a text may be deleted. In many cases, the deletion can be handled by redaction.
Redaction is the blanking out of text in a document, to ensure that the recipient of the document cannot determine, even indirectly, the content, scope, or meaning of the redacted text. The most secure redaction procedure is as follows:
- Take a photocopy of the original document;
- Blank out the relevant text on the photocopy using a felt-tip pen with indelible ink ;
- Take a photocopy of the redacted document
- Do not release the original redacted copy as it might be possible to decipher the redacted text;
- Release the photocopy of the redacted document.