Transcription companies process data, and as such need to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as data controllers. This means that the transcription company has to have data protection controls in place to ensure that any data kept about customers or individuals mentioned in recordings is kept private and secure. Here at University Transcriptions we are registered as data controllers with the Information Commissioner’s Office (search for TP Transcription Limited if looking for us – TP Transcription Limited is the limited company trading as UniversityTranscriptions.co.uk). We take data protection extremely seriously and have been registered as data controllers for over 15 years (for most of this time this was via our mother company TenPercent.co.uk Limited).
We ensure that all data we hold, whether on clients or in recordings, is kept strictly confidential. The process starts with a request for a quote from a client, and to do this we ask them to fill out a form online. The form is filled out online on a HTTPS secure website, which means that we hold an SSL certificate confirming that our site is secure.
We only ask for the data we specifically need to process the quote, which is the name of the individual, the name of the institution, an email address, phone number and information about the work the client requires transcribing.This information is held solely to provide the quotes and usually to chase up the potential customer within 4 to 8 weeks after providing the quote. The information is not used for any other purpose.
Once the customer places an order with us we add their details to our work in progress software so that we can track the recordings. Again, we only retain the information we require which is the name of the customer and the identity of the recording, the length of recording and return times and price stored with it. Our customers usually upload their recording onto our secure server, and this is done via our secure website with an SSL certificate and via our third party provider who provides fully encrypted SSL secure server space for the uploads. The recordings are kept online and we can download them as and when required. We have the option to use a GDPR compliant server with files and data never leaving the UK at any time during the process.
All recordings are deleted within 31 days of them being uploaded onto the server. No records are retained after this time unless we have downloaded them to transcribe. We access the serve to download the transcriptions and so do our transcribers.
No personal data is downloaded with the recording, and it is simply the recording that is transcribed. The transcribers who work with us transcribe the recording into a word document and then email the word document through to our transcription manager who processes the files and returns them to the client.
Our transcribers delete all transcription files within 30 days of returning the transcriptions to us, and so the only copies of files are the actual word documents that have been transcribed. If a client asks us to, we delete the word documents we have returned a copy to the clients, but otherwise we retain them on file in case they are required in future.
Our own storage facilities for retaining files are fully secure and kept behind a firewall, which is maintained by our specialist IT consultant with over 25 years of experience of protecting data from attack.
So data is completely secure within our company, although I appreciate it is impossible to say that, bearing in mind the increasing sophistication that occurs with every data hack. Since 2001 we have had no data breaches at all, even though on a couple of occasions clients have accidentally sent us recording files that have contained a virus. Our systems also have full anti-virus protection in place as well.
However, the data we collect and process is probably worthless to anyone other than the clients as it is mainly academic studies and nothing particularly controversial or confidential. We do however handle some sensitive material and have worked with high profile and celebrity clients before now.
So if you are looking for a transcription company with a full data protection policy in place, professional indemnity insurance to cover any liabilities that may arise and over 15 years of transcription experience, please contact www.universitytranscriptions.co.uk.