Furthermore, I believe that the overwhelming majority of Upwork freelancers understand that the work product they produce belongs completely to the clients who pay for the work to be done.
I have personally hired over 70 freelancers on Upwork, for projects that include the creation of original graphics, design, illustrations, writing and more.
Not once have I had a problem regarding ownership. The freelancers produced work that I own completely and do whatever I want with.
I know that there ARE some freelancers who come to the Forum and wondered about this and have asked if things must be this way. The advice they are given is always the same: Work product and all rights associated with it belong entirely to clients, unless the client and freelancer enter into an alternative contract.
This is separate to the issue of being concerned that Upwork made a substantial TOS change, but regarding the agreement itself - you could ask the freelancer to sign an agreement with your company regarding confidentiality and ownership of materials.
I just found this discussion because I had the same question as others. Read together, the responses are a bit confusing. So are you suggesting that each person posting a job needs to come up with their own confidentiality agreement and terms to get signed separately by any freelancer in order to be confident about owning the work product and maintaining confidentiality? If so, that does take away an advantage that was there in the past when everyone had confidence in the same set of clear rules.
re: "So are you suggesting that each person posting a job needs to come up with their own confidentiality agreement and terms to get signed separately by any freelancer in order to be confident about owning the work product and maintaining confidentiality?"
No, not at all.
I'm sorry that this thread was confusing.
The situation is actually quite simple. As experienced Upwork clients already know, you do NOT NEED a separate contract or a confidentially agreement or terms. You don't need any of that. All of that is already provided by default.
Moreover, freelancers know this and respect this.