From the moment that you decide to write that email or pick up the phone and make your first enquiry into commissioning work from an external provider, you are probably wondering at the back of your mind just how much information you need to give. Initially, you may only want a costing or to see if the translations agency can offer the service peculiar to your project. But do you really want to let slip over the telephone to somebody that you have never met that you are about to start working closely with a multi-national company on the most lucrative contract of your career?
Confidentiality in business is the hottest topic up for debate, whether it is about your customers’ data or a new contract that you have worked so hard to get. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that if your data is mishandled, one of your stakeholders (which includes the translations agencies that you choose to work with) can actually put your project at risk and compromise your business. Little wonder then that innovations are shrouded in secrecy, that the latest model of mobile phone or newly trialled drug is a closely guarded secret; news ‘leaks’ about the intentions of businesses can be devastating. The same applies for the day-to-day business of smaller companies whose goods and services are just as important to their survival.
We are all familiar with such privacy acts as the Data Protection Act, or possibly working to the standards of the EU’s GDPR, but how would this cover you in the event of an accidental slip of information that gives your competitor the advantage? The answer is that there has to be more than a handful of statutes and laws.
Working closely with any agency means that professional relationships will also develop – and that does open the possibility, however small, of your business being casually discussed with a potential competitor. This is where confidentiality plays a vital role: a truly professional agency will want to give every customer, potential or long-term, big or small, the guarantee that no matter what stage the professional relationship is at, your business will always be treated with the complete confidentiality that it requires, every time, all the time. Your new product will not be leaked. Your medical trial will be undisclosed. Your business will remain your business. From our point of view as an agency, it is our business to see that it does.