Announcement: Changes to the Collaborative Translation functions

In May 2018, a European privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is due to take effect. It imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU) or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents. The GDPR applies no matter where you are located.

To prepare Microsoft Translator for full compliance with the GDPR, the functionality of the Collaborative Translation Framework will become read-only, for both the Microsoft Translator Text API and the Translator Web Widget, on February 1, 2018. The deprecated functions of the Translator API allow users to share submissions to the API with anyone, without a specific control over who the submission is shared with or when to stop sharing.

The only sharing functions are AddTranslation and AddTranslationArray, which are rarely used.

Microsoft is committed to making Microsoft Translator and Microsoft Cognitive Services fully adhere to the data protection mandate, and this requires changes to the Microsoft Translator API.

The Translator Hub and the Translator Hub API provide similar functionality, are readily available, fully GDPR compliant, providing you with full control over who to share data with, and when to stop sharing.

Microsoft Translator Text API changes

The AddTranslation and AddTranslationArray functions let users enable corrections through the Collaborative Translation Framework. After January 31, 2017, these two functions will not accept new sentence submissions, and you will receive an error message. These functions are being retired and will not be replaced.

Microsoft Translator Web Widget changes

The Translator Web Widget will continue to work, but there will not be an option to provide corrections after January 31, 2017.

Recommended actions

Translator Text API:
  • If your code is calling the AddTranslation or AddTranslationArray functions, please remove those calls.
  • The other collaborative methods of the Translator Text API will continue to work (GetTranslations/GetTranslationsArray and Translate/TranslateArray), returning your previously submitted content.
  • Use the Microsoft Translator Hub and the Translator Hub API to customize translations. The document handling of the Translator Hub is fully GDPR-compliant.
Translator Web Widget:
  • Publish the translated content directly instead of using the widget. Direct publishing has several advantages:
    • retains the original intended layout
    • is friendly to responsive design, scaling to screen dimensions, and to touch operation
    • doesn’t require explicit user action to trigger translations
    • removes the floating Bing-branded window
  • Use the Microsoft Translator Hub and the Translator Hub API to customize translations. The document handling of the Translator Hub is fully GDPR-compliant.

Preserving Corrections

You can download and use any previously collected corrections using the Translator Hub. To do this:
  • Visit the Hub.
  • Make sure your associated API subscription is the same API subscription you used when calling the AddTranslation function.
  • Create a project with the desired language pair.
  • Create a training inside this project.
  • Visit the "Training" tab.
  • Click "get community translation" in the upper right.
You then get two text files containing your collected sentences. One with the unapproved sentences, and one with the approved sentences. You can use these files to train your custom system, or download them and use as you see fit. Or both. 

Last update: December 12, 2017


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