Voice data sharing and storage practices in the entertainment industry

Most of the world encounters voice actors several time a day. From dubbed films and series to voice over in animation, video games, TV and radio advertising, audiobooks, documentaries, and telephony…  their voices surround us and narrate many of our experiences.

Content owners contract studios worldwide to provide localized content that audiences relate to.  Localized language content is in higher demand than ever before and studios are pressed to produce with shorter turnaround times. 

To provide these services, studios maintain casting databases that contain actor personal data such as talent contact information and voice samples. These databases are conserved over long periods of time and new profiles and samples are added regularly.

The casting phase of dubbing and voiceover is a period where actor data is shared continuously with all project stakeholders. High volumes of samples are shared between  subcontractors, account managers, studios and final clients. The dataflow is rarely managed and actor personal data is often inadvertently saved and forgotten in inboxes or clouds after project completion and not entered into compliance processing workflows.

Our industry finds itself in a bit of pickle because of a progressive adaption to the ease of digital data sharing and processing. In this particular case, the problem is the Media & Entertainment industry’s mismanagement of voice personal data, strictly protected by the EU GDPR and subject to a number of processing laws.

The unstructured evolution of data sharing is what drove the European Union to establish the General Data Protection Regulation to protect Europeans’ personal data.

GDPR introduces the notion of compliance co-responsibility, which means content owners are accountable for the conformity of their vendors, and vice versa. To complicate matters further, the GDPR is extraterritorial and applies to companies worldwide who process the data of anyone in Europe.

The Media & Entertainment industry has in large part avoided addressing voice data processing practices until now. As global localization is not set to slow down any time soon, the issue has become critical and needs to be addressed with standardized partner compliance assessments, perhaps integrated into partner security assessments such as the TPN. 

Financial and reputation risks are too important to gamble in such a lucrative industry where reputation is everything.


Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only. Mediartis makes no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or validity of the information contained in this document. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for any legal advice regarding the respect of data protection.

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