Freelancers should not be responsible for the fee, we never see that money, as it is taken out directly from the client's payment. It should be considered a payment from the client to oDesk. At least, that's how I see it.
For tax purposes, I don't think it will make any difference, as the expense of the fees can be deducted out of earnings. BUT if you have to report your income anywhere for any other reason, I see this as being a problem and a burden to the freelancers.
Well done for bumpng this Anastasia.the tactic all along was obviously just to impose it, ignore the thirty pages of adverse feedback, and then go quiet in the hope it would be forgotten.
Please, see this thread where Garnor addressed some of the issues. In the following months we are planning to improve your reports so the information about the fee and the net earnings is clearer.
Thank you for response Stephen and Valery!
Wording "in following months" sounds not really promising to me. I don't know if you have any statistics on reports usage by freelancers, but I can say for myself - I'm using reports for performance analysis often. So hope that oDesk/Upwork will be working in that direction.
Not having an option to hide your earnings is more than a privacy issue; it is a security issue. I hope Upwork will consider that many freelancers here are from the Philippines. I shudder to think that kidnappers and other bad elements will start creating Upwork accounts to browse for juicy targets (based on earnings) near their area. That would make things easier for the bad guys. Please don't be a tool for aiding and assisting the dark side..
First of all, your address isn't part of your profile. How are these kidnappers finding you?
Second, if you live in a country where kidnappers are trolling websites to find $3.00/hour customer service reps as targets, then your country has bigger problems than the display of a few numbers on an obscure freelance website.
Finally, I really can't accept your characterization of the dismal state of your homeland unless I hear from some other contractors that yes, things really are that bad there. Somehow I suspect there may be other opinions.
If this were as significant an issue as you suggest, then the simplest solution would be to protect yourself and your family by setting your profile to private so that nobody can see it and your oh-so-tempting earnings numbers.
It looks like your profile is already private, so you should have nothing to worry about.
First, this happened not long ago. It happened not far from where I live--maybe a 30 minute drive. Thankfully, our local government really did a lot to get leads on this case. However, it would be preferable if we can do things from our end to prevent this from happening, i.e., not showing our earnings.
Second, it is not that difficult to make it an option to hide earnings. It is consistent to privacy, anyway. Why limit the opportunities of freelancers to earn by telling them to make their profiles private when a more proper way is available? Freelancers come to this platform to earn.
Third, I'm sure that not all freelancers from our place are customer service reps. Anyhow, the option to hide earnings is just that--an option. If you think your earnings will not attract attention, then you are always free to display it.
Fourth, there are many ways to get a person's address once the person is already identified. Yes, it's not that easy. But why gamble, when it's easier to hide your earnings in the first place?
Lastly, in a modern, civilized society, this issue of privacy should not even be the subject of debate. It is something that should be the normal course of business.
@Cody L wrote:
However, it would be preferable if we can do things from our end to prevent this from happening, i.e., not showing our earnings.
The "this" you reference has nothing to do with your earnings. You should be arguing to hide the earnings of Canadian tourists, or to prevent them from coming to your country to spend their money. Or providing evidence that actually supports your case.
Anyhow, the option to hide earnings is just that--an option. If you think your earnings will not attract attention, then you are always free to display it.
Information Theory doesn't support your approach. So long as privacy exists as an option, exercising of that option can be used to extract information. Imagine criminals acted as you suggest, and Upwork did as you asked, and people acted according to their own best interest. The bad guys then simply change their strategy from looking for high earnings to looking for earnings that are deemed high enough to hide.
Lastly, in a modern, civilized society, this issue of privacy should not even be the subject of debate.
A modern society should be based on the precepts of science, where absolutely everything is up for debate. And all scientific thinking so far on this subject points to the fact that the more information you have in a free market, the better it performs. It is true that this conclusion is at odds with privacy, but it is beyond the scope of Upwork to be 100% responsible for your privacy, safety, or security.