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Moral Objections with Video Verification

Active Member
Jonathan E Member Since: Oct 31, 2018
1 of 20

A friend who is active on Upwork stumbled on this verification method just today.

I have never had a company try to connect, via video, to verify any information. This seems absolutely intrusive, to demand that someone connect to a call without any other option when there are a *multitude* of ways to verify your identity. 

Upwork, what if you customers have anxiety, what if they can't actually speak or have other impairments or difficulties, what if they don't have the proper equipment to complete the call? What if *they'd prefer not to connect with and be recorded by someone they don't know* when video doesn't even seem like it's any more verifiable than asking security questions.  

I was blown away by how absurd and invasive this is. Does anyone else feel this way?

Active Member
Olivia O Member Since: Oct 31, 2018
2 of 20

Not even PayPal asks for video conference to verify identity. Why is a State ID/National Identity Card acceptable for PayPal, yet not enough for Upwork? You also cannot opt out of this feature. 

 

It feels completely intrusive and will put a lot of people off from using this site. 

Community Guru
Catherine M Member Since: Jan 20, 2017
3 of 20

With all of the scammers out there stealing identities I have absolutely no problem with this. It's no different from having a video or in-person interview with someone. This was put into place because of issues with people claiming to be someone or somewhere they weren't. This is an Upwork practice and it's up to the freelancer whether or not it's worth it. As someone who is doing quite well on Upwork, I would say for me it's worth it.

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 20

Jonathan and Olivia,

 

I understand your concern and we also wish we didn't have to ask our users to complete video verification. However, unfortunately, some accounts are used to violate Upwork ToS and misrepresent information about the user. Video verification currently is the best way for us to identify such accounts, protect our genuine users, and maintain trust and security on the marketplace. If anybody has any specific issues with the process, we encourage them to communicate with the team via the support ticket that's created.

 

Thanks.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 20

@Valeria K wrote:

Jonathan and Olivia,

 

I understand your concern and we also wish we didn't have to ask our users to complete video verification. However, unfortunately, some accounts are used to violate Upwork ToS and misrepresent information about the user. Video verification currently is the best way for us to identify such accounts, protect our genuine users, and maintain trust and security on the marketplace. If anybody has any specific issues with the process, we encourage them to communicate with the team via the support ticket that's created.

 

Thanks.


 ____________________________

 

Valeria,

 

I am deeply offended that Upwork felt that my account fell into the category you mention and that I have highlighted in red. 

 

Isn't it time that Upwork verified a few clients who most certainly do not care about "maintaining trust and security" and whose accounts are misrepresentative and "violate Upwork's ToS"? A few "clients" for example, who cheat Upwork, freelancers and academic bodies.  

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
6 of 20

I'm sorry you feel this way, Nichola. 

Please know that the video verification is being rolled out to both new and old freelancers. I would like to clarify that the freelancers who are asked to do a video verification are randomly selected. While this specific program is geared toward freelancers, please know we do have multiple programs in place to screen and remove fraudulent client profiles as well.   


-Avery
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Active Member
Olivia O Member Since: Oct 31, 2018
7 of 20

Avery: 

 

How does randonly selecting users to prove their identity via video conference to 'insure that theyre abiding by the TOS' an effective way of improving public trust with the company?

 

It would make sense if an account was flagged as suspicious, if they had reached a threshold of funds recieved, or jobs applied to, but random?

 

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
8 of 20

@Olivia O wrote:

Avery: 

 

How does randonly selecting users to prove their identity via video conference to 'insure that theyre abiding by the TOS' an effective way of improving public trust with the company?

 

It would make sense if an account was flagged as suspicious, if they had reached a threshold of funds recieved, or jobs applied to, but random?

 


 ------------

 

First, it would be best to do this as proactively as possible. Let's not wait until someone is burned before doing some due diligence. 

 

Second, it would actually be best to verify ALL accounts with video. However, to do that would hold up new freelance accounts for a very long time and require either a high cost burden to administer all of these video checks or massively extended waits to get on the platform. A difficult problem.

 

Third, when you don't go random you are either being reactive and will be accused of not doing enough to prevent malfeasance before the act, or you will be accused of unfairly profiling. Neither of those any business wants to get near. 

Active Member
Morten B Member Since: Sep 19, 2015
9 of 20

I have tried and tried and tried to get UpWork to understand that I don't have a WebCam. Recently my microphone went dead too.
I have just been on a quite costly trip to the Thai embassy in order to renew my Visa, and then the first thing I see when I want to top up my bank account again from my UpWork account is that UpWork have placed a hold on my account and my available money there, and they claim it is for "my safety" or "my security".
Everybody else, all over the world, have no problems with my identity and papers, and now I am treated like a criminal from UpWork.
I live in the middle of nowhere, something I chose in order to get peace of mind, fed up with big cities and stress. Here, nobody speaks English, most people are farmers, most don't have computers. Even if somebody could lend me equipment, it would be a nightmare beyond belief to try to explain for them.
With this video-conversation-demand, UpWork has left me without access to my account and funds and claims to be protecting my interests. They are doing nothing of the sorts. They leave me without money, they block me from work, and they say they are good...
In short, their tech-solution is very much comparable to a hospital only accepting calls from land-lines. Tough luck if you have an accident and only have your mobile phone!
With this demand, UpWork is excluding people, generating a social class distinction... this, in addition, to piss people off, which they don't care about because they seem to be too big.


Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
10 of 20

Hi Morten,

 

I`m sorry about the inconvenience this had caused you. 
I checked your tickets and I can see that you have followed up directly on your ticket with more questions. One of our team members will post an update as soon as possible and assist you further with your verification. Thank you.


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