On 25 May, GDPR will be enforced and will permanently change the way companies can collect, store and use customer data. This new data protection regulation puts customers firmly in the driver’s seat and the task of complying with this regulation falls upon businesses and organizations. In light of this upcoming enforcement, we reflect on how the language services industry handles commercially sensitive documentation to ensure the ongoing confidentiality of client materials.
Data security and confidentiality of customer data are basic requirements when it comes to the translation process. Slator estimates that only 11% of all translation work is public in nature i.e. 89% of all content is confidential to some degree. This is particularly true in the legal and financial sectors. Legal firms have a duty of care not to put their client data at risk and it is the language service provider’s (LSP’s) responsibility to ensure that is upheld at each step of the translation workflow: from rest, in transit and in use. When it comes to financial documents, these often contain market-sensitive information which must be handled with the utmost confidentially to uphold the integrity of financial markets.
The risks to confidentiality in the translation process are mainly linked to the electronic transfer of documents (by email or via user portal), crowdsourcing of translations (through the use of applications such as Google Translate, machine translation or other crowdsourced translation applications) and distribution of content other than on a ‘need to know’ basis. Even a small project requiring translation into five languages can involve up to 75 different handoffs of content, so a secure supply chain is essential. Technology has a key role to play in ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of documentation. To have complete confidence in your LSP, they should have comprehensive procedures in place to cover all aspects of security from buildings, network and IT security, to specific confidentiality agreement policies. For clients prohibited from sending confidential documentation out externally, LSPs can place translators on-site to carry out document reviews, to help identify relevant files, verbally summarize content and/or translate on-the-spot.
RWS has been handling secure documentation for the last 60 years. By combining our highly skilled, specialist teams, proven processes and state-of-the-art technology, we can deliver a customized and flexible solution to meet your secure translation requirements. Visit our website to find out more about our legal and financial language solutions.