The risks of using any machine translation (MT) tools that are free online have hit Statoil, the Norwegian oil manufacturer recently.
Employees discovered that some internal memos and correspondence that the free online translation tool, translate.com, had translated could be easily accessed online using a Google search by anyone. The news report reveals that passwords and code information was leaked. According to the news station NRK, translate.com told Statoil that the translations had been removed. However, after imputing a Google search, you can still locate what appear to be email messages that have been translated and are linked to Statoil. One of the emails was informing an applicant that he or she had not been chosen for an advertised company position. This certainly shows the risk in online translation tools if you want to keep information confidential.
Terms of Service for Translate
On the online translator’s website translate.com it says that even though we will adopt reasonable means in order to protect your information, we can’t and don’t offer any guarantees with regards to the effectiveness of any security we may choose to use or our capability to stop 3rd parties, acting in an unlawful manner by getting hold of any information you have given to us.
On Its legal webpage, it makes the point that any users need to know that any information that has been submitted to the website could potentially be accessed by the public.
These warnings aren’t clearly visible in the terms of service webpage on translate.com and it’s extremely unlikely that everybody reads them first before going into the site to do a quick translation. Any user runs the risk of offering personal information each time they make use of this online translation tool. This is the risk in online translation tools
Translate.com emphasizes that users give the site to the business license to display, copy, perform, upload, store, distribute and modify data after it has been imputed into the website’s system.
Unclear language embedded with legal terminology and contractual jargon puts a lot of pressure on those wishing to make use of translate.com’s tools. Basically, buyer beware and when you decide to input information into an online translator of any type or name don’t include any sensitive or private information as its security is not guaranteed.
The website translate.com has released a recent post on how you can remove information that Google or Microsoft has indexed, but beware of the risk in online translation tools.
In the meantime, those in need of translation services should realize the benefits that come from professional, secure MT.