Data are indispensable in almost any business and industry these days. The translation and content delivery industry is no exception. Data are the key to efficiency improvements (think of machine translation and translation memory leveraging) and to quality control and process management and automation. TAUS has a unique position in the global translation industry as a neutral and independent language data network.
More and more companies rely on data for vital business functions. They say that data is the new oil. We must be able to trust the integrity and validity of the data, or our business is at risk. Before we let this new oil freely flow through our business pipes, we must ensure that rules are in place that regulate access to and control of the data, especially when personal identifiable information is involved. That is exactly what the European Commission has given us now with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that goes into effect on May 25. The GDPR is a modernization of the previous EU Data Protection Directive (DPD) from 1995.
At TAUS we welcome the GDPR. We think that these regulations are dearly needed in a world that is confused and divided around a myriad of questions on data and privacy. We celebrate the GDPR for three big reasons.
1. Clarity and protection
We all, knowingly or unknowingly, share data. The new regulations bring clarity and answer all the questions about personal rights and privacy. The personal data that fall under the GDPR are clearly defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. The natural person in this context is labeled as the 'data subject'. The data subject is at the core of the GDPR. Every business and organization which maintain and process data within Europe, is bound by the same rules to manage the data they have on individual users safely and securely. The user has the right to access, and edit the personal data, ‘be forgotten’ or take the data somewhere else, i.e. to a competing platform. First and foremost the company or organization must have a legitimate reason to obtain and manage personal data.
2. Consistency and trust
The new regulations are consistently implemented throughout the European Union and significant fines can be imposed on businesses and organizations that do not comply. No exceptions can be made by individual states and no additional restrictions and rules may be applied. This consistency brings transparency and reduced cost for compliance investigations. It also brings tremendous trust for individual users and the companies hiring global talents as employees or freelancers. GDPR takes the obscurity out of the system. What’s more; given the fact that every company doing business in and with Europe will have to abide by the same rules could very well mean that the European GDPR becomes a ‘golden standard’.
3. Efficiency and growth
The questions and uncertainty around data privacy and security have slowed many companies down with the adoption of cloud-based services and technologies, yet there is clearly a trend towards cloud and data-driven business models. The benefits of efficiency gains and growth potential are simply too great. With GDPR, business now becomes safer. The uniform privacy regulations throughout the European market mean that reputation levels go up and users can have more trust in businesses and platforms. They do not run the risk of being locked in to a single provider. GDPR will stimulate a more open environment, in which data can flow freely and safely, stimulating healthy competition and innovation. That’s good for the customer. But also good for the companies that will benefit from efficiency gains from cloud-based IT services and business growth because more and more users can trust their offerings through the cloud.
TAUS and GDPR
As a data network for the language industries TAUS has always closely followed disciplined policies for data protection. Like any other business these days we collect and manage personal data from our members, users and website visitors. In addition, we are collecting large volumes of language data which are used firstly by our members for the training of MT engines and known as the TAUS Data Cloud, and secondly to measure translation performance and quality, known as DQF. Several translation technology developers use the TAUS DQF API and build integrations with the DQF Dashboard, allowing customers to get real-time reporting on translation quality and performance and to benchmark against the entire industry.
Micro-services and APIs have made modern IT businesses very complex from a data flow perspective. This is true for TAUS as well. Many different parties are involved in a DQF project: translators, reviewers, project managers, vendor managers, quality managers. And they may all work for different companies or independently as freelancers. Then there is the technology company that built the DQF plugin and offers the translation platform in the cloud. And there is TAUS of course that aggregates the data and generates the reporting on the DQF Dashboard.
Join our webinar on TAUS Data Strategies and GDPR
At TAUS we celebrate the new GDPR for the three main reasons we list above. We are very pleased to have the clarity and consistency in place that will help users to put more trust in our services. We are confident that GDPR will stimulate the growth of business.
We invite all of our members, users and non-members to join the TAUS team on May 9 for a web meeting to discuss the TAUS data strategies, services and GDPR compliance. This meeting will be recorded and can be listened back later.