Anonymity – who’s on the other side of the net?

Anonymity – who’s on the other side of the net?

Riding the wave of the England football team’s success at Euro 2021, this afternoon Emma Raducanu, an 18 year old wild card ranked number 10 in Britain and 338 in the world, is fighting for a place in the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles quarter finals.

In a few short days Raducanu has been catapulted from anonymity to national treasure status. The British media, not known for its restraint, is putting her under a level of scrutiny that has undone many talented young people. Promising newcomers can rise and fall with equal speed. Worse, they can be sabotaged by outside factors impossible to foresee or control. Former world number one Monica Seles was just a year older than Emma Raducanu is now when her career and life were derailed by a shocking on-court assault by a fan of her rival Steffi Graf. And those who bet and lose on sporting events sometimes look to shift blame for their misfortune onto the athletes they’ve gambled on. Anyone irrational enough to point the finger in that way isn’t likely to be balanced in the way they express their feelings. 

Let’s hope the positive coverage for Emma Raducanu continues to outweigh the negative. These are early days, but so far the spotlight has barely made her blink. Her focus and maturity weren’t only made in Britain. Born in Toronto, to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father, she came to the UK with her family aged two and is now the pride of Bromley. With little success to inspire her in British women’s tennis in her lifetime, she cites her role models as Li Na, the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title and Simona Halep, the first Romanian to win Wimbledon. She also embraces her family roots with regular visits to her paternal grandmother in Bucharest. The welcome she receives there will undoubtedly be warmer than the reception that Chinese companies and diplomats can currently expect.

In recent years, China and Romania have been at odds. A planned joint venture that would have seen the countries combine resources to build two new nuclear reactors was abruptly cancelled by the Romanian government, which has also removed Chinese tech giant Huawei from Romania’s 5G network on security grounds. The Romanian argument, that China’s 5G technology had the capacity to absorb data collected in their country, thereby creating a knowledge database on Romania’s 19 million citizens, struck a chord with many businesspeople who rank cyber security among their highest priorities.  

XTM International serves those priorities with a respect for client confidentiality that inspired the creation of our Anonymization Tool. When setting up projects, XTM Cloud users can hide personal information such as names, telephone numbers and email addresses, substituting placeholders which can then be re-inserted into target files after translation. This can be done automatically, using the XTM algorithm, or manually, marking selected content or individual target languages for anonymization. We also offer watertight protection from removal of confidential data; if a linguist chooses to take text offline, Administrators and Project Managers can mask personal information, preserving data confidentiality without compromising translation quality in any way.

If Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon adventure continues after today, she’ll find herself at the eye of a media storm that will test her character as much as any opponent she might face across the net. There’s nothing XTM International can do to protect this gifted young woman’s anonymity, but we can promise to keep working tirelessly to preserve the privacy of everyone in our professional network.

Are you comfortable with the level of privacy that online communication offers you? Most of us will never have to face the pressures that come with being a world class athlete, but we all have private lives and reputations to protect. We welcome your thoughts on this complex subject.