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Security Problems & Solutions In Legal Translation

Posted by Anne Q. on February 14, 2022.

During the course of a legal translation project, translators frequently have access to sensitive, personal, and confidential material, that is why maintaining security is critical. There may even be regulations governing the safeguarding of this information in some cases.

Here are some aspects to consider when it comes to security and how they could affect legal translation efforts.

#1. Personal Information

Many legal documents require translation since they contain personal information about the clients and properties involved in the contracts, depositions, and documentation. To protect the personal information contained in the document, it may be feasible to anonymize this data throughout the legal translation process. This action partly can help to mitigate some of the risks associated with a data breach.

legal translation services - Personal Information

Also, contracts aren’t only for businesses. Moving to a country where the language is foreign can necessitate some sensitive legal documents. The crucial information can be found in employment contracts, rental leases, residence paperwork, and health insurance policies. In all of these circumstances, and more, it’s also critical to understand what’s being signed. This calls for plenty of additional aspects than mere translation. Translators who are entrusted with personal information must be able to assist in negotiating the optimal terms by providing cultural and practice insights.


#2. Data Security

All of the work that translators handle is done on computers that are connected to the Internet. These computers, like any other type of organization, are vulnerable to data security concerns, breaches, cyber-attacks, and other flaws that put the data held on these networks and computer systems in danger.

legal translation services - Data security

In the event of a data breach or leak, all parties involved, including the law firm, translation company, and the lawyer’s clients, could face harsh consequences. Reduced client trust, legal liability, and a tarnished reputation are all examples.


#3. Regulatory Compliance

The rules for each type of document may also differ. Real estate contracts that have already been signed and are part of the public record, for example, would not be subject to the same data protection requirements as an unawarded patent application for a new product. Meanwhile, contract discussions, whether they’re for a worldwide commercial deal or a house-price bidding war, rely on confidentiality to succeed. Even the most basic contract might contain language that is susceptible to interpretation, making contract law a highly specialized field.

Not only does the law firm need to know what requirements must be followed, but legal translators and legal services providers (LSPs) also need to be aware of the rules that must be followed. In highly private negotiations, the translator must not only be linguistically accurate but also comprehend how contract wording might be interpreted. A single word with an erroneous or ambiguous meaning might lead to costly mistakes. Similarly, a phrase that is legally binding in one country may have no significance in another.


#4. Privacy Laws

Data protection standards must be followed by businesses that process and store client data. Data protection and privacy legislation are in effect in 58% of countries around the world. An additional 10% of countries are presently preparing legislation to protect data.

There may be privacy laws in effect that govern how the data must be protected. And they can be depended on where the finished legal translation will be utilized and where the law practice is located. All parties involved in the legal process, including the translation team, must abide by any applicable privacy regulations that apply to the project. This can be difficult, given the rising incidence of international contracts and the frequent changes in privacy legislation. New privacy rules must be kept up to date by translators and project team members.

legal translation services - private laws

At the same time, when classified documents are translated into multiple languages, more than one country is involved. It can be a full-time job keeping track of the numerous laws and regulations in existence. It is not enough to have a strong command of the English language when dealing with sensitive information. It’s also crucial to make sure the translation follows all applicable laws in each country.

Because privacy regulations are protected, many translators are required to follow the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) in the EU. When working with sensitive data, GDPR encompasses ethical and practical norms. It provides a guide for translators on how to accomplish their work in order to give dependable and effective services.


#5. Security Processes

Steps must be taken to protect legal data in order to mitigate the potential impact of data security concerns. This might be as simple as the LSP implementing a company-wide security strategy, such as data storage and confidentiality protocols, for each legal client. Because the LSP may be working with legal clients on opposing sides of a case, it’s vital to keep sensitive material out of the wrong hands. If specific clients want additional security procedures, the translation team can help with that as well.

Regular cybersecurity awareness training is required for all employees so that they are prepared to secure data and report suspected security breaches to the proper personnel. They need to know which types of data require the most stringent security. It is not sufficient to attend cybersecurity awareness training solely during the onboarding process, as this is a topic that must be maintained and reviewed to have the greatest impact.

Access to data should be restricted to just those who require it. Teams working on a specific translation project should only have access to the documents they require, rather than having access to the whole project database. Simply by restricting the methods in which documents can be compromised, this can act as a start toward making them more secure.

Personal information is treated differently in different parts of the world. In the European Union, all sensitive data is treated equally and is protected in the same way, although this may not be the case in other areas of the world. The data that requires extra security can be split into a new group, while the bulk of files that do not include personal or sensitive information can be placed in a different group. Only the files that require additional protection will necessitate these extra measures in such circumstances.

In the legal field, security can take numerous forms. There’s cybersecurity, document physical security, personnel security training, and adherence to security-related regulations. All of these distinct aspects of security must be understood by everyone involved in the legal translation process to get a secure and successful result.


#6. Sum up

The demand for legal translation will continue to expand regardless of a law firm’s practice area or specialization, or the needs of an in-house legal department. So if you need assistance with a pending legal translation project, contact GTE translation experts immediately to maintain quality and keep security under control.

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