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Confidentiality in legal transcription: Best practices

legal transcriptionOutsourcing transcription requirements to a professional transcription company is probably one of the wisest things law enforcement personnel, lawyers, or law firms do to save time and money in-house. But before you share your sensitive documents, you need to ponder why confidentiality is important in legal transcription and ask the right questions to ensure your files are secure.

The proceedings of some cases may be public knowledge, but what about testimonies, witness interviews, or wiretap recordings? As a lawyer, your field notes give you and your client a significant advantage in court, and the leakage of this data to unwanted and unauthorized personnel could turn the case on its head.

Wiretap recordings have a dubious history in America, but when all methods of obtaining data are exhausted, a court can sanction using wire taps for gathering evidence. Historically, transcripts of wiretap recordings have been considered more than a memory aid in court – they’re in fact mandatory for unclear recordings. Naturally, any data leakage from such a document could cause major disruptions in case proceedings.

A professional transcription company understands how sensitive these documents can be and are happy to disclose their legal transcription process as well as sign the necessary documents for strict adherence to industry ethics. That being said, let’s look at some of the best practices credible transcription firms adopt to ensure complete confidentiality.

Sign an NDA for confidential legal transcription

The first step to ensure confidentiality in legal transcription is to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with your transcription company. This makes it obligatory for them to keep your personal information as well as your project data secure at every point of the transcription process and even after it has been delivered to you.

For one-time jobs, many credible firms are obligated by the NDA to delete the transcripts and audio recordings from their servers once the relevant files have been delivered to you.

Train employees for industry ethics

Credible transcription companies conduct a thorough background check whenever they bring a new employee on board because of the stringent confidentiality standards of the transcription industry.

While a company may subscribe to complete confidentiality practices, it needs to ensure that employees are also thoroughly trained for the best practices in maintaining complete confidentiality about projects.

Security measures

Adopting appropriate document security controls and protocols such as encryption, Digital Rights Management (DRM), Enterprise Rights Management (ERM) go a long way to mitigate issues that may crop up due to unauthorized sharing or pure human error.

Custom document access controls can encrypt a file, limit access to a particular server or laptop, or revoke document access based on a number of pre-set parameters.

Divide files into parts (data fragmentation)

Another great way to ensure complete confidentiality of legal transcripts is to divide the recordings into parts and share them with different transcribers. This ensures that nobody has access to the complete transcript, thus proactively ruling out the prospect of unauthorized sharing.

However, a major drawback of this process is ensuring quality, accuracy, and continuity in a narrative. Without context, transcribers may find it difficult to create a transcript that flows logically. Also, any minor difference in skill set can adversely affect the output.

How we ensure complete confidentiality of your legal transcripts at iScribed

iScribed is happy to adhere to industry ethics and we follow strict confidentiality measures in-house and for all aspects of client interaction.

  • Our employees sign an NDA when they join us
  • All client interactions on our website are encrypted by SSL certificates
  • 99% of our employees do not have access to our clients’ personal information
  • All audio/video files shared by clients are deleted from our server after 2 weeks
  • Only those who have a direct link to a transcript can access it (which is basically you when you work with us)

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