ULG's Language Services Blog

MT Security: Quality Control Standards for Secure Data

With legislation like the GDPR coming into effect in the E.U. and multiple news stories of data breaches taking place in the U.S., the need for companies to protect personal data is more important than ever.

Language Solution Partners (LSPs) that offer Machine Translation (MT) are responsible for collecting and transmitting large amounts of data, which positions these firms as stewards of data security. By safeguarding personal information and having a robust system for filing and storing MT data, an LSP can earn clients’ trust and mitigate the possibility of data loss or corruption.

Here are some preventative steps LSPs can take to make sure client data is safe when using MT.

Data Security Accreditation

LSPs with security accreditation like ISO 27001 have a framework that emphasizes data protection. This starting point ensures that LSPs are held to a high quality control standard when it comes to MT security.

Robust Encryption Methods

The MT process is composed of three major parts: file transfer, storage, and processing. After an LSP first receives and processes data, it might be transferred across platforms and devices depending on project needs. To minimize the risk of unauthorized personnel gaining access to the data, LSPs should use secure file transfer methods, like 256-bit encryption.

Increased Security Measures

Although MT is technologically-driven, there are still human resources involved. Language Masters, or qualified linguists, working with Machine Translated text should only be able to access the projects they have been assigned to, and only on a password-protected company server.

To this end, using a web-based Language Mastery Platform to control workflow and permissions is hugely beneficial in increasing MT security.

In addition, each employee who works with MT and sensitive data should sign an NDA, undergo a training process for handling data, and have completed a background check.

Only Store What’s Necessary

One of the biggest benefits of working with an LSP that uses MT is that an LSP will not store data without the client’s knowledge. The data will also only be used for its intended purpose, and then deleted when it is no longer needed. This is especially important in fields like law or healthcare, which have additional protocols for protecting personal data.

By contrast, online services like Google Translate keep your data once it is entered into the translate function. They also reserve the right to use it as they want. The Google “terms of service” states:

“When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

Clients should use an LSP they can trust to handle data appropriately, rather than giving a free online translator carte blanche to use personal data.

Have a Backup Plan

Even after these precautions are taken, having data breach protocols in place, such as notifying potential victims, identifying the cause of the breach, and removing any personal information that was posted publicly, will ensure that the LSP is prepared to handle any extreme situation quickly and efficiently, minimizing damage.

By complying with these security measures, LSPs benefit from faster, accurate translations while also increasing trust and adhering to changing legislation.