Dangerous data breaches are on the rise. Most recently, the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax was the target of a hack where cybercriminals made off with the sensitive personal information of 143 million people, including birth dates, Social Security numbers and home addresses.
In September Slator reported on a privacy breach at Translated.com. People’s sensitive data, including names, addresses, tax correspondence and termination letters, were freely available through online searches.
While the Equifax breach was certifiably criminal, it turns out that the Translated.com breach, according to the company, was more a case of differing expectations. Some users had assumed their data would be kept private, but Translated.com had not offered that.
The users who had their information exposed had used Translated.com’s free translation tool (as opposed to the company’s paid services). Translated.com offered the free tool to the public to improve their own machine translation and they sent the translations to volunteers to be improved. At the time, search engines indexed the information, making it freely available online. As Translated.com noted, their site had then said: “All translations will be sent to our community to improve accuracy.”
Our view: Just because it says so in the fine print doesn’t make it okay. Confidentiality has always been key to the ancient practice of translation. Back in the bad old days, loose-lipped translators would find their head on the chopping block. While security best practice has changed over the years, translators must pledge always to keep their client’s secrets.
Obviously there are those in our trade who do not share that view. So we all need to be careful with how we use our own data, especially when it comes to free online tools!
While you and I can’t prevent a big breach like the Equifax hacking, we can become more aware of how we use our data and who we give it to. This doesn’t just apply to Translated.com’s free translation tool, but to others tools as well, including Google Translate.
Translations You Can Trust
Need a translation? Responsive Translation takes document and data security seriously at every step of the process.
We are happy to receive your source and review materials by secure FTP. Just ask, or upload at https://www.responsivetranslation.com/quote-form/. Our translation memories and machine translation tools keep client information in-house and are never shared. All of our linguists and production staff are vetted, receive security training and sign non-disclosure agreements. In addition, all of our project management and translations are completed behind secure firewall via Windows Remote Desktop Services secured with SSL using XTRF. For you computer nerds, we are ISO 27001, with certified Tatian scheduled for next year. Further security integrations are available upon request.
For more information about our language capabilities and secure processes, please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.