The Creepy Spy Clause in Translation NDAs

Translator's Digest


It seems the translation giants are at it again, exercising increasing power over the little guy while trying to conceal their abuse of contractual asymmetry behind the reservation of a “right”. The angle this time? “Reserving the right to scan your computer and carry on onsite checks of translators.” So official, yet so problematic.

Now, before I pour out my analysis, allow me to make a pertinent digression: As a very bright young lawyer/interpreter pointed out in the forum that inspired this post, I’m a lawyer and law professor in a country under the civil law tradition; therefore, my view may be biased by my own system and not everything I’m about to write in this post applies to all countries. However, as I replied to said bright young colleague, there are general principles of law recognized by most countries and that is what I will focus on here. So…

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