Translation agency requires copy of passport
Thread poster: farolingo

farolingo
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 8

A translation agency has just asked for a scanned copy of my passport for me to be added to their database, apparently in order to comply with ISO 17100:2015. I've registered with much bigger agencies, but never been asked for this before and find it very odd to provide a company, which may well just be 20 people in an office, with a copy of my passport. Has anyone else experienced this?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Scan and redact Oct 8

farolingo wrote:
A translation agency has just asked for a scanned copy of my passport for me to be added to their database.


Scan your password and then redact the sensitive information from it. You can e.g. make a photo copy of it, cut out or cross out the sensitive information, and then scan it. Or you can use a program like XnView's Filter > Effects menu to scramble some of the text in a JPG file. I think the agency mostly want to see something that looks like a passport page, with your name on it, so you can redact most other information (even the photo, I think).

In a recent similar thread here someone said that redacting a copy of one's passport is illegal in some countries, but I have been unable to confirm that.


farolingo
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 23:13
English to Russian
+ ...
At least in the US Oct 8

This kind of personal data phishing from non-employees and remotely is illegal and can be reported.

Instances when I did indeed have to send scanned passport copy did not require any clarification or support from Proz:-), and it was sent via secured channels.


farolingo
Sheila Wilson
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:13
Member (2018)
French to English
. Oct 8

The thing with this ISO 17100:2015 is that it's a standard about office procedures. I remember my former boss telling us that basically you just had to show that you had a system and that everyone complied with it. You could write that policy was to print up all orders and put them in a blue folder, then when inspectors came to check, you'd lose points if the folder was in fact yellow.
So if the agency needs your passport to comply with that standard, it simply means that the person who d
... See more
The thing with this ISO 17100:2015 is that it's a standard about office procedures. I remember my former boss telling us that basically you just had to show that you had a system and that everyone complied with it. You could write that policy was to print up all orders and put them in a blue folder, then when inspectors came to check, you'd lose points if the folder was in fact yellow.
So if the agency needs your passport to comply with that standard, it simply means that the person who dealt with applying for that standard decided that all translators would have to provide a copy of their passport, that's all. If translators all refused to supply their passport, they'd have to change their policy. There's absolutely nothing in ISO 17100:2015 to say that all vendors have to supply their passport.
You could always say you don't have one, after all it is not compulsory. EU citizens can travel to 27 other countries without showing one!
Collapse


farolingo
Sheila Wilson
Marco Belcastro Bara
Philip Lees
Christine Andersen
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 23:13
English to Russian
+ ...
Especially Oct 8

Considering the growing wave of translation agency impersonations, I would not do that, ever.

It makes no sense anyway - no dumb bureaucrat in the remote translation agency can verify the authenticity of the scanned passport copy or guarantee the safety of the data. You can tell then that


Sheila Wilson
Philip Lees
 

farolingo
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 8

Yes, very good point Kay, thanks for the reply! I have to say, I went straight to the standard myself and could see nothing about requiring vendors to supply passports!

Kay Denney
 

farolingo
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 8

Samuel Murray wrote:

farolingo wrote:
A translation agency has just asked for a scanned copy of my passport for me to be added to their database.


Scan your password and then redact the sensitive information from it. You can e.g. make a photo copy of it, cut out or cross out the sensitive information, and then scan it. Or you can use a program like XnView's Filter > Effects menu to scramble some of the text in a JPG file. I think the agency mostly want to see something that looks like a passport page, with your name on it, so you can redact most other information (even the photo, I think).

In a recent similar thread here someone said that redacting a copy of one's passport is illegal in some countries, but I have been unable to confirm that.


Great idea Samuel.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No requirement whatsoever to disclose personal data Oct 8

farolingo wrote:
I went straight to the standard myself and could see nothing about requiring vendors to supply passports!

In fact, it could well be a contravention of GDPR if either you or the client is within the EU. Your passport is your personal data and no client has a right to it. They have a right to something that confirms your identity as a professional provider of translations, that's all. And the standard only requires them to take steps to make reasonably sure that they're dealing with a professional and not somebody in some chat-room pretending to be someone they aren't. What you provide and what they choose to accept/reject are matters for negotiation but you, no - we - shouldn't allow ourselves to be "forced" to give our personal data. Politely refuse, explain why, and suggest an alternative.


farolingo
IrinaN
Philip Lees
Christine Andersen
 

farolingo
Local time: 05:13
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 8

Sheila Wilson wrote:

farolingo wrote:
I went straight to the standard myself and could see nothing about requiring vendors to supply passports!

In fact, it could well be a contravention of GDPR if either you or the client is within the EU.


Thanks Sheila. I completely agree. Yes, we are both situated in the UK, which for the time being at least, is still in the EU. Frankly I'm quite flabbergasted they have asked for such personal data. I have sent them a very blurry copy from which no important information could be discerned and which should surely satisfy their procedures. If they now come back to me requiring a clear copy, I will most certainly be following your advice and politely refuse! I'm really quite astonished by this


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Oct 8

I think this just highlights how pointless these standards are. They show that you're good at red tape, but they say nothing about the quality of your translations.

Kay Denney
Vera Schoen
Philippe Etienne
farolingo
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:13
Member
English to French
Just recently Oct 9

farolingo wrote:
Has anyone else experienced this?

For the first time since I started translating.
After the negociation was over about business terms, I consented to send a scanned copy of my passport (with some hidden info and "confidential" stamp images) because the prospective European agency looked very promising.

And it is.

It's good to have principles, but it's also good to get new business. I evaluated the risk of being impersonated or having my ID associated to human or drug trafficking as close to zero, as well as malicious interceptions in the ether.

As a rule, I follow the universal common sense standard, which shall prevail over any other. If the prospect asking doesn't look 100% trustworthy, it is obviously sensible to decline.

Philippe


farolingo
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Mutual trust and requests Oct 9

I often heard many colleagues discussing 'funny' requirements, so when some free*lancers told their clients and prospects requested IDs, credentials, copies, security certificates and so on, I suggested demanding the same from the other party too.

Unfortunately, most of them took it as a flat joke, but those a few who did dare to 'answer back' reported their demanding clients or weird questions just disappeared. Why, often simply asking for clarifications or reasons made cu
... See more
I often heard many colleagues discussing 'funny' requirements, so when some free*lancers told their clients and prospects requested IDs, credentials, copies, security certificates and so on, I suggested demanding the same from the other party too.

Unfortunately, most of them took it as a flat joke, but those a few who did dare to 'answer back' reported their demanding clients or weird questions just disappeared. Why, often simply asking for clarifications or reasons made curious parties forget about their requirements.


As a colleague of mine noted, after her letter with such questions, she got a notarized articles of association and some company papers, and they treated her much better--as a very serious businesslady.
Collapse


Yolanda Broad
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translation agency requires copy of passport

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search