5 Ways to Ensure Privacy with Transcription Services: Is Your Data Protected and Secure?

Privacy transcription services

When getting a transcription, security should be a concern, especially if you’re planning to have a courtroom recording or interview transcribed.

When you think about it, having a random stranger listen to your conversations and write them down word-for-word can be quite concerning; there’s just no telling what they might do if there was sensitive information on your audio recording.

Thankfully, there are plenty of legitimate and secure transcription services that you can rely on. From focusing on accreditations to website data encryption, secure transcription services employ a variety of tactics in order to ensure that your data is safe from prying ears.

1. In-house transcribers

To start, it’s important to focus on who the transcriber is. When you submit an audio file to a transcription service, they typically give it to one of their employees to perform the transcription. However, there’s really no telling who that person is. It could be a senior transcriber working in the company office, or it could be a freelancer from the other side of the world.

Depending on who the person is, your audio file could either be secured in a reputable company or let loose onto the internet in an unknown country with no legal system to help you if the file is shared without your permission or if sensitive data is leaked.

This is where in-house transcribers can provide you with the peace of mind that you need. To ensure that there is no possibility of your audio file being leaked onto the internet, or at least to have the option of following up with legal action should that happen, it’s important to focus on transcription services that have in-house transcribers.

By choosing transcription services that do not offshore their transcriber, you will be able to gain real guarantees regarding internal data protection policies and minimise the chance that anything goes wrong.


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2. Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)

An NDA is often used to offer clients peace of mind when sending their audio recordings in to be transcribed. In fact, many websites will have this as a benefit or feature of their secure transcription service along with confidentiality agreements that transcriptionists are obliged to sign. If they don’t advertise this, then most transcription services will be willing to sign an NDA if security is paramount. However, if there’s no mention of an NDA, no confidentiality agreement and the company refuses to sign an NDA, then it’s a huge red flag and the service should be avoided.

If you want to guarantee that your privacy is taken seriously, then it’s vital that you seek a transcription company that is willing to sign an NDA by default. You shouldn’t need to pay extra for an NDA, it shouldn’t need to be requested (in most cases) and it should give you peace of mind. However, as mentioned in point 1, if they don’t use in-house transcriber, you don’t really know that your NDA can be enforced.

3. ISO accreditation

ISO 27001 and 9001 are accreditations that represent a set of international standards surrounding data management. ISO 27001 is focused on information security management while ISO 9001 is all about general management systems. Together, ISO 27001 and 9001 indicate that your data will be handled in a professional manner with all of the latest security measures in place to ensure that it is not stolen or mishandled.

If a company does not boast ISO 27001 and 9001 accreditations, then it’s a red flag and they should not be considered an option as a secure transcription service. It’s best to avoid companies that lack these accreditations so that you feel more secure about who has access to your data.

4. Website data encryption

A secure transcription service will ensure that their website is protected with the right data encryption protocols. For starters, take a look at the transcription service’s website and if you notice that the full address starts with “HTTPS”, then it’s a good sign.

A website URL will either contain HTTPS and HTTP, with the “S” standing for “secure”. It’s an extension over the existing HTTP and offers better security than older systems. It essentially makes sure that your data is encrypted whenever it is sent to the website, and this can include your recording. This means that if someone were to intercept communications and potentially try to steal your audio recording as it was uploaded to the secure transcription service’s website, it would be encrypted and virtually impossible to decipher for the cybercriminal.

If you’re serious about keeping your data safe and secured then enlisting the services of a secure transcription service will make all the difference. You should also ensure that the website uses encrypted login portals that will not just protect your audio recording, but also your personal data to ensure that there’s no risk to your identity and security.

5. GDPR coverage

Also known as the General Data Protection Regulation, the GDPR is a set of strict regulations imposed on businesses that have European-based customers. It focuses on a wide range of different data handling procedures and puts the responsibility of managing client data on the business in question.

This means that transcription services need to tighten their security measures and publically report if there has been a breach of their security or else they could face immense fines.

The GDPR ensures that your data is being handled with strict security measures. Any company that follows the GDPR regulations can be considered a secure transcription service and it will guarantee that if your data is mishandled, you will get justice for it.

Don’t take risks with your data security

Transcription services have to be secure to in order to offer you peace of mind. Taking risks with your data just isn’t worth it, especially in a digital era where cybercriminals are everywhere.

Whether it’s protecting the private conversations that take place in your audio file or ensuring that your personal information isn’t leaked, security plays a huge role in the world of transcription, and hopefully, this article has given you a couple of things to think about in regards to ensuring your privacy.


You’ve been reading about using secure transcription services when getting your audio professionally transcribed. To learn more about picking the right service for you, read our Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services.

Take Note

Take Note

Take Note is a UK-based transcription service with world-class customer support alongside the highest standards of security and ethics. We deliver a comprehensive range of transcription services including Audio and Video Transcription, Video Captions and On-Site Note Taking.