Confidentiality in Revealing Names of Educational Institutions
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 24, 2007

I have come across instances when askers have been reluctant to reveal the names of educational institutions (colleges and universities) when asking questions in that subject area, and apparently with some there might be an issue of "confidentialty" there.

Being that CONTEXT is one of my favorite words, and educational terminology and its meanings not only vary greatly from country to country but even from institution to institution, I feel that knowing such information is important to be able to supply a proper answer.

Colleges and universities often have extensive websites where one can browse and perhaps gain insights on vague or uncommon terms that might have a particular meaning in a given institution.

It would also seem to me that the identity of such institutions is not anything we would need to keep secret, for they tend to be very much open to the public and well known, and generally seek to become even better known.

So my question would be, why would one wish to ask a question in this field and yet feel an obligation to keep the name of the institution confidential when it involves information that is already public?


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:30
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
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MODERATOR
Hallooh! Mar 24, 2007

Dear Henry,

In my Swedish liberal view this problem seems absurd.
Exerting myself, I cannot see any problems with information stemming from a public website.
If the publisher is 'unwise' enough to publish the info, s/he must bear tha consequences or change the decision to publicize.

So: I am sorry for not being able to offer any helpful explanation.

Mats


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:30
German to English
Ignorance, probably Mar 24, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Colleges and universities often have extensive websites where one can browse and perhaps gain insights on vague or uncommon terms that might have a particular meaning in a given institution.

It would also seem to me that the identity of such institutions is not anything we would need to keep secret, for they tend to be very much open to the public and well known, and generally seek to become even better known.

So my question would be, why would one wish to ask a question in this field and yet feel an obligation to keep the name of the institution confidential when it involves information that is already public?



Hi Henry
The chances are good that the asker is concealing the identity of the institution out of ignorance. And these forums are one means of trying to get the message across to inexperienced members. Of course, there "could" be legitimate reasons for keeping the name confidential – it depends on what kind of text is being translated. An institution's proposal for a contract, for example, would be highly confidential.

Using the ask-the-asker box to seek clarification is probably the best approach for an immediate resolution. If the material being translated is not confidential and the institution has a public website, there's probably no reason to conceal its identity.

Why would someone not reveal the identity of an educational institution in such cases? Inexperience, in most cases, I think. Why do people select "not-for-points" and "first validated answer" for their questions? Why do so many askers fail to provide context, classify their questions properly and close their questions minutes after they get the first answer or not grade questions at all? In most cases because they don't yet know what they're doing. It takes a while for newcomers to familiarize themselves with all the bells and whistles available and rules governing asking KudoZ questions. It's all quite clear to the old hands – but overwhelming for many newcomers.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 10:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Uncertainty regarding KudoZ rules, maybe? Mar 24, 2007

2.10 Care should be taken not to disclose confidential information in KudoZ postings. In most cases, client names should not be disclosed in a KudoZ posting. Consideration should also be given to whether the term or context would disclose confidential information by its nature.


The above is from KudoZ rules, and I've seen many questions (mine included) in which xxxx and yyyy are used in substitution for any proper names, not only those of the client. In general, I think it's a good practice.

Your point, however, is valid. As you well know, lessons often have to be repeated ad infinitum ("Could you give us some CONTEXT"). Some will never get the message but others learn with experience.

I suggest you make a macro with a brief summary of your comments here, and post it as a note to asker whenever appropriate.

Jane


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:30
English to Spanish
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Confidentiality? Mar 24, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Colleges and universities often have extensive websites where one can browse and perhaps gain insights on vague or uncommon terms that might have a particular meaning in a given institution.

It would also seem to me that the identity of such institutions is not anything we would need to keep secret, for they tend to be very much open to the public and well known, and generally seek to become even better known.

So my question would be, why would one wish to ask a question in this field and yet feel an obligation to keep the name of the institution confidential when it involves information that is already public?



I would suggest to askers in a case such as this to do what you would do when trying to help htem: if for some reason they feel the name of the institution should be kept confidential, they should go themselves to the institution's webpage and find what they need!!

It's funny, because sometimes when one googles some of the context given, you go directly to the page that gives the complete text (sometimes you even find a translation!!)

But I agree with what others have said here: when looking at questions and all the stuff mentioned here, you can only say: The mind works in mysterious ways....



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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Touché, Heidi Mar 24, 2007

You said:

...they should go themselves to the institution's webpage and find what they need!!

It's funny, because sometimes when one googles some of the context given, you go directly to the page that gives the complete text (sometimes you even find a translation!!)

That's what happened to me in a case that came up recently; although I did not find a translation, I did find information clarifying the term from the website of the unrevealed institution which I then revealed.

The term, of course, appeared to be exclusive to that particular institution, which made its name pertinent information.

Concerning your comment "The mind works in mysterious ways...", I cannot but agree completely.

What I would really like to hear are some comments from askers who have been reluctant to reveal such information, including not just the names of educational institutions, but of well-known companies or organizations of any kind.

I'd like to hear "why".


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