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How to Ensure Cybersecurity When Translating Legal Documents


How to Ensure Cybersecurity When Translating Legal Documents

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Have you ever used Google Translate? With a few keystrokes, you can quickly convert alegal document into any language of your choosing. This machine translation service can even transcribe and translate speech, making it easier to communicate with clients who don’t share your language.

But have you ever wondered what happens to data after Google’s automated translation tool converts it? When it comes to free machine translation, you may be sharing more than you think.

Are There Security Concerns with Automated Translation Tools?

A free translation service like Google Translate puts a digital translator in your pocket. As long as you have access to data or Wi-Fi, you can pull up a quick translation from your smartphone. Google Translate has learned more than 100 languages, and it does a pretty good job of producing basic translations of simple words or phrases.

While this can be a helpful addition to your phone when you’re travelling and trying to understand a map, it’s important to understand its limitations when it comes to longer, confidential documents.

Google Translate’s privacy policy states that any data you upload to its servers may be analyzed by its algorithms. In other words, Google may use your translated documents to build its AI’s vocabulary and improve its understanding of grammar.

Many different types of machine translation learn by example — whether it’s a free automated tool or official translation service. AI needs to analyze large sets of data before it can make intelligent guesses regarding document translation.

After all, AI is only as effective as the data it consumes, so feeding information to an AI is a crucial step in its development.

The problem is when Google accesses and stores your confidential information. Unlike a legal translation agency like LingArch that follows the industry’s security best practices, Google’s data privacy terms aren’t comprehensive enough for legal documents.

Not only are you putting out this private information on the web where it’s vulnerable to attacks, but you may also be violating the privacy of clients by using Google Translate and other free tools.

3 Confidential Document Translation Tips to Protect Your Privacy

First of all, trade Google Translate in for an official legal translation agency. Certified agencies take client confidentiality seriously by following these three security features.

Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is essential reading before sending any information to an agency. It tells you what data the agency collects and how it uses, stores, and disposes of it.

If you operate in Europe or deal with European information, this policy must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Employee NDAs

Another way to protect your confidential data from hackers is to ensure the agency you’re working with swears its employees to privacy. It’s not unusual to have translators sign Non-Disclosure Agreements when working with legal, financial, or healthcare information. This contract will deter employees from breaching the agency’s confidentiality standards by sharing private information.


Your translation agency must encrypt all traffic sent between you and its servers, along with data at rest. This should include the latest SSL cipher suites to secure communications that include confidential material.

When sending confidential attachments, they should encrypt emails and require multi-factor authentication before the recipient can receive them.

Bottom Line

Encryption, Non-Disclosure Agreements, and a robust privacy policy are some of the checks in place that will protect your data. Although they should be standard, not all translation tools will provide the same level of security.

Leave Google Translate for unimportant tasks. For confidential legal matters, make sure an official agency meets (or exceeds) these security protocols.