How secure is machine translation?

Are you thinking about automatically translating your texts with a free online translation tool? Machine translation tools translate texts automatically. They are getting better and better and therefore their popularity is growing. The same goes for making business content available for a multilingual audience. More and more companies recognize the importance of having content available in  multiple languages. This especially counts for bigger enterprises that have divisions in multiple countries around the world. Machine translation can be helpful when translating text. It saves money and time, but how secure is it to translate text using online translation tools?

The benefits of translation software

Automatic translation has a number of advantages. It is cheap, it’s very fast, and you can have your translated text in the blink of an eye. The translated text may not be perfect, but it can be adapted into a good translation with little effort. There is only one pretty significant drawback. Once you paste a text into a free translation program, you don’t know what happens to it. This can pose considerable privacy and security risks. It is therefore better to not translate text with privacy-sensitive information with a free translation tool. 

The risk of online translation tools

We all know it: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Nothing could be more true for free online translation tools. Employees at the Norwegian steel giant Statoil did not take this into account and translated confidential documents via an online translation service. Due to a data leak, a few months later these texts were publicly available to anyone who did a simple search on Google. This concerned personnel data, from reports on performance reviews to resignation letters. Such a data leak confirms how important security is when translating confidential information. For this reason, many companies block the use of free translation tools to avoid privacy risks. As soon as your data is passed on to the servers of free machine translation services, you are not longer in control of the data.

Is it possible to automatically translate your text and keep your data private?

What if huge numbers of documents with business-sensitive information still need to be translated? The safest way to benefit from the power of machine translation and the associated cost advantages is to use a translation program that runs on a company server within the company walls, so no data can be transferred outside of the company. A translation program such as Euroglot NMT has been specially designed for use within the protected company network. The quality is comparable to free online translation tools such as Google Translate and DeepL, but without the associated security risks. Do you want to know more about offline machine translation? Please contact us for more information.