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New Web Server in British Columbia Protects Data, Opens Doors

Read our August 2015 update about the Canada server

Data breaches and privacy concerns are not just on the minds of big companies and nations. Consider the concerns of our neighbor to the north.

For disability service providers in British Columbia, "remote transcribing" has a double meaning—using remote transcribers, and providing real-time communication services to clients who live in remote areas of the province. TypeWell’s Web Linking enables students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to read a live transcript on any standard Web browser, whether the speech-to-text transcriber is in the same room (on-site) or many miles away (remote).

Remote transcribers serving students in British Columbia listen to discussions via Skype and transcribe what they hear. The typed words are immediately transmitted to the client’s Web browser.

Even if the transcriber is located in Canada, connecting via Web Linking previously meant that the data was temporarily stored on a U.S. server. Due to privacy legislation in British Columbia, some participants expressed concern about the privacy of this data.

TypeWell's new web server located in Vancouver, B.C. enables transcribers in Canada to stream data to Canadian clients, without the data ever residing on U.S. servers.

In response, TypeWell collaborated with Post-Secondary Communication Access Services (PCAS)1 to establish a new Canadian Web Linking server in Vancouver, B.C.2 This enables transcribers in Canada to use TypeWell to stream data to Canadian clients so the data never resides on TypeWell’s U.S. servers.

For agency owner Dana Wright of Flying Fingers Transcription, this new server could be a boon for her company, which serves not only Canadian educational institutions but also government contracts.

"My understanding is that [the client's] worry is about the actual TypeWell servers being in the United States. To have the information flow through the States, they need to do a privacy impact assessment (PIA). This is doable, but not ideal."

TypeWell hopes that by alleviating these privacy concerns, more Canadian companies, educational institutions, and transcribers will be able to use Web Linking for on-site and remote accommodations.

The new server is currently in “beta” testing, and should be available for use by late summer 2015.

To receive updates about the Web Linking server and other important announcements, subscribe to our email newsletter.

photo credits: Phone security via photopin (license) | privacy via photopin (license)

1 PCAS is a province-wide service funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and housed at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
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Kate Ervin

Kate became a TypeWell transcriber in 2004 and began training new transcribers in 2009. She has served as TypeWell's Executive Director since 2011.

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