How to ensure your translation partner is data-secure - Into23


How to ensure your translation partner is data-secure

With legislation being implemented around the world to protect people’s privacy online and secure information, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679) in the European Union, which went into effect in 2018, and China’s Data Security Law (DSL) as well as its Personal Information Protection Law, which were implemented in 2021, the handling of data is governed by a complex patchwork of rules. 

Transporting data across borders is growing ever-more challenging. And with translation and interpreting often covering the transfer of information online, clients and vendors alike need to ensure they are compliant. The consequences of non-compliance can be onerous. For example, under the EU’s GDPR regime, penalties include a fine of up to 10 million euros, or 2% of a business’ entire global turnover for one fiscal year. 

In the EU, data security non-compliance can result in a fine of up to 10 million euros

Having a translation partner that’s data-secure makes good business sense and is the foundation of data compliance. 

When using a translation agency, it’s important to check that it’s data-secure. This means that the data is encrypted in transit and stored in a risk-appropriate manner. If you’re sending documents for translation, you want peace of mind that the best translation services company is handling the information securely. 

Read on for some top tips to keep your information safe and stay on the right side of the law.  

What is data security?

It covers the process of preventing digital information from being accessed by unauthorised persons, including by thieves, and encompasses security measures like ensuring hardware is physically secure, restricting administrative controls, and managing access.

The threat

Data security measures go a long way to preventing data breaches. They are necessary because such hacks are a growing problem around the world. The Identity Theft Research Center reported a 17% increase in data breaches in 2021, year on year. 

These attacks are partly attributable to intellectual property (IP) theft. IP covers inventions, creative expressions and ideas, and includes copyrighted work, music, software, movies and designs, to name just a few. Imagine engaging an agency to complete technical translation services on a new scientific discovery which has yet to be announced, and the information is hacked ahead of the launch and released to the media. 

Due diligence is the leading way to make sure your choice of translation services is a sound one. Whether you’re looking for a legal translation company, technical translation services, general business translation solutions, the process of assessing a potential partner is the same.

There’s an army of hackers out there driving a rise in data breaches, with a 17% increase in 2021

Conduct due diligence 

If you want to source expert translation services that are a good fit and are data-secure, you’ll need to conduct some thorough research. The aim is to gather information to make an informed decision. As well as looking at the vendor’s pricing and experience, data security is one criteria to add to the decision-making process. If a company falls down on data security, that’s a potential indicator it doesn’t pass muster in other regards too, like customer service, or accuracy.

What to look for?

Reputable language translation technology will have in place appropriate processes and protections to keep the information they handle secure from prying eyes and to stay compliant with data privacy policies. But how do you tell whether a translation agency in Hong Kong or a marketing translation agency in Singapore is data-secure? Here are the top things to look for. 

Check the platforms used

A Nimdzi report in 2021 identified more than 750 tech solutions in the translation industry, including translation management systems, legal document translation services, transcription services, audio transcription services tools and deep voice narration, among others. Using software localization services and multimedia localization services reduces the risk of a data breach. 


Ask what protocols are in place to comply with the law

If you’re transmitting and receiving data across borders and are concerned about staying compliant, it’s a good idea to flag any concerns or ask what measures are in place. This may involve just an assurance that the translation partner complies with the relevant regulations. 

Inquire about a track record of compliance

If presented with a choice between a company that had been fined for non-compliance several times and a company that had never been handed such penalties, the best course of action would be to go with the latter. Information that is indicative of a company taking compliance seriously is whether it conducts regular security and data audits. 

Ask about freelancers

Most translation agencies make use of contract freelancers. Therefore, it’s prudent to inquire whether your prospective partner ensures it has non-disclosure agreements in place and uses secure work platforms when working with freelancers.

Signing a non-disclosure agreement safeguards information

Sign a non-disclosure agreement

This is a good first step for safeguarding information. An NDA, in its essence, is a legally enforceable agreement that binds the signatories to a set of clauses restricting the sharing of confidential information. If you’re a company translating a series of patent applications, or you’re translating the documents for an initial public offering, for instance, an NDA would help ensure that sensitive information is not released or divulged. NDAs can be tailored to fit specific circumstances, with the parameters including definitions as to what constitutes confidential information and the obligations that each party is subject to, as well as the timeframe the agreement covers. 

Keeping data-secure and complying with relevant regulations are increasingly important, and by following the tips above, you’ll be able to make an informed choice, and pick a reputable translation partner

Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat with our translation experts, who are on hand to answer questions about your translation needs.

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