Maintaining the confidentiality of highly sensitive official documents is critical for translation service providers.

Some multinational corporations, in order to reduce costs, use discounted translation services or free online translation tools. Although the idea seems convenient and may help them save money in the short-term, the question is, are they compromising their confidential information and sacrificing quality?

Breach of confidentiality and low quality translations could certainly have an adverse business impact, including a rise in legal costs and damaged goodwill.

According to an article posted in The Japan Times on February 20, 2015, confidential documents of a large Japanese bank, including customers’ private information, were posted online after being translated through a free online translation service.

The bank had no recourse or way of having the confidential information removed from the Internet.

At least 30 cases of email leaks were confirmed. They included emails between a ministry official and an employee at a major electronics manufacturer, as well as emails written by bank employees. The leaked documents contained the names of people, companies, and government officials, including the messages and their translations.

In another case, the newspaper reported, a translation agency, under contract with the Nuclear Regulation Authority, leaked a classified document online. The document contained sensitive internal information on nuclear power plants.

These examples make the high price of free translation abundantly clear.

Using free or discounted translation services is detrimental, despite their reduced costs. Companies, especially those in corporate, legal and financial industries, need to be cautious when hiring the services of free or discounted translators.  Managers should seriously consider the risks before sharing sensitive emails, legal contracts, project proposals and other confidential documents with free or low-cost translation services.

While third parties should protect their clients’ confidential information, many lack the security practices and processes to ensure confidentiality. The free or discounted service can become unbelievably costly.

What can be done? How can firms have their confidential document translations completed? It is crucial to consider the services of a properly tested and professional translation service provider with stringent operations in place for data security. Many companies can do this.

Professional translation companies may be somewhat more expensive than the free and discounted translation services; however, the quality of service is worth it.  Established translation service providers use state-of-the-art technology to deliver consistent, cost-effective results. Moreover, it is always better to have the translations proofread and reviewed by a native, qualified linguist to ensure quality.  That is something some companies include in their services.

Free is not always better, especially in the translation industry. Always select the services of professional agencies, which, in addition to being specialists in their field, will not compromise confidentiality or quality.

About International Translating Company

International Translating Company (ITC) offers world-class language services in over 200 different languages. Since 1969, they have been serving clients diligently and providing consistent, affordable translations, interpretations and other business services.  ITC leverages seasoned, professional, native linguists vetted and continually tested to ensure the high standards their clients need.  All their processes are dedicated to maintaining the confidentiality and trust of their clients at a competitive price with timely delivery.