In response to coverage on SC Media UK of a reported breach of Translate.com, (earlier report further down this page) the organisation has denied the claims made in the original NRK report and Maria Burud, SVP sales at Translate.com has written to SC to explain why:
"In response to your report, Translate.com's free, volunteer based, machine translations were not breached.
"There are two versions of the Translate.com solution. The one in question, the free version, using various online translation services, also incorporated volunteer translators to review and correct translations. This “old” volunteer segment is now closed, and, all translations involving volunteers have been removed. The online machine translations, which are still available for free, will no longer be saved.
"If a client wishes quality and privacy, we recommend they use our subscription based, commercial grade Enterprise solution. Enterprise submissions are password protected. The translations are saved, and available only to our clients by signing in to their account.
"Translate.com's Enterprise solution is proud of its growing network of over 40,000 on-demand, paid translators, who as a group are fluent in 90 languages. Our translators are required to execute ethics and Non-Disclosure Agreements.
"We continue to take pride in the excellent work provided by our international team of translators on our Enterprise solution, and we encourage our clients to have renewed faith and trust in both our free and Enterprise translation services."
Our original report is below:
t is reported that a free online translation tool Translate.com which uses machine translation service Microsoft Translator, has suffered a major data breach.
The service is used by companies and individuals wanting a quick and free translation service, and many companies use it for highly confidential material including M&A contracts and other sensitive documents, passwords and contacts.
Unfortunately, the translated via the translation web site is stored in the cloud and so is accessible online.
NRK in Norway reports that earlier this month employees in Statoil discovered that text that had been typed in on the web site could be found by anyone conducting a search. Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg, president of Tekna (The Norwegian Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals), told NRK that her organisation had carried out further tests and warned that the issue was far more widespread. Statoil did get sensitive documents removed but NRK reports that they can be recovered.
“It really doesn't surprise me that this has happened. Free translation sites have never been a secure way to translate potentially sensitive information,” commented Thomas Labarthe, EVP, SDL in an email to SC Media UK. He adds, “The conversation around security and free online translation is changing as businesses are increasingly concerned about sensitive information being unwittingly leaked through these tools. What may seem like a quick way to translate content, could quickly put a company's future on the line, and secure alternatives now exist.”