Confidentiality issues: anything new?
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 27, 2016

I am finding that an increasing number of my clients are requiring an NDA that excludes any use of MT, even non-cloud systems like PROMT or Systran. I know this subject has been exhaustively discussed here and elsewhere, but is there anything new that would be helpful for dealing with this problem?

Susan


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Explain to them Sep 27, 2016

Susan Welsh wrote:
I am finding that an increasing number of my clients are requiring an NDA that excludes any use of MT, even non-cloud systems like PROMT or Systran.


Explain to them that your system is entirely offline and that there are absolutely no confidentiality issues.


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I did Sep 27, 2016

Hi Samuel,
I did tell them that, but they said "even so..."
So I refused to sign it with that clause in there. They have agreed to discuss it internally at the firm and get back to me. This is a company I have worked with since 2008!

Susan


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
French to English
Question Sep 27, 2016

What business of a client is it what you do internally?

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@John - "Tell it to the judge!" Sep 27, 2016

None, but they don't have to accept that.

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:19
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Matter of confidence Sep 27, 2016

John Fossey wrote:
What business of a client is it what you do internally?

None - provided that they are satisfied that those internal processes do not result in confidentiality problems further down the road. And as Susan says, the client is judge, jury and executioner.

Can they be sure that (for example) the MT software being used by the translator is not quietly sampling texts and sending snippets back to the MT company, not with ill itent but simply for analysis to improve the software?

Maybe this is what happens with some software. Maybe there was an opt-out somewhere that the translator should have taken but did not. Even if there was an opt-out and the translator took it, might it not be reinstated after an update of some kind? (The recent furore regarding Facebook and Whatsapp is a topical case in point.)

When you consider the potential for problems, the number of MT services and the various permutations and combinations, I can see why clients might want to just want to impose a blanket ban on MT.

Over the longer term, this may mean they have to pay more for translators who do not use MT. We shall see.

Regards
Dan


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
French to English
Employee or contractor? Sep 27, 2016

I think you are covered in the US by "work-for-hire" laws. If your client is dictating what you do internally they risk you becoming classified legally as an "employee" and not a "contractor". They probably don't want that.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 04:19
Member (2004)
English to Thai
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For your information Sep 28, 2016

John Fossey wrote:

I think you are covered in the US by "work-for-hire" laws. If your client is dictating what you do internally they risk you becoming classified legally as an "employee" and not a "contractor". They probably don't want that.


My statement says nothing with confidentiality but translation and TM copyrights of the "hire-for-work" translator are solely withheld at the translator, not his/her employer.

Soonthon L.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What statement, Soonthon? Sep 28, 2016

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:
John Fossey wrote:
I think you [Susan] are covered in the US by "work-for-hire" laws. ...

My statement says nothing with confidentiality but translation and TM copyrights of the "hire-for-work" translator are solely withheld at the translator, not his/her employer.

What statement are you referring to, Soonthon? This is your first post in this thread -- there is no previous post with a "statement" from you here.


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Enrico C - ECLC  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 05:19
Member (2011)
English to Italian
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In principle they are right. Sep 28, 2016

MTs are not safe in principle and when remotely based basically they know all what you translate. When local they often send data to some remote site. Some of my customers have been clear about this. No MTs of any sort used. Should something happen i would be responsible for it. I suspect that is also one of the reasons why many big companies are creating their own internal web-based proprietary CAT platforms.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Not a "problem" - Just a business decision Sep 28, 2016

They could also, for whatever the reasons, ask you to translate only wearing blue clothes, in a room painted in pink, and with three old bricks under your cup of tea, and that would not be a "problem."

This is a simple business decision: do they pay enough for you to respect their rules? Of course it is always healthy to try to explain your position and convince the customer, but if they are not to be convinced, you can always drop the work.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Nothing different Sep 28, 2016

Enrico C - ECLC wrote:
Should something happen, I would be responsible for it.


You would be responsible for it even if you didn't use MT.


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