FreeLancer and Privacy and Confidentiality Issues
I am writing this because I am shocked by the new policy of the freelancer.com, and because of that, the employers are forced to post their tricks and business secrets in their message boards, where their faceless staffs are constantly sniffing. So before posting any confidential information please understand that your business secrets can be compromised at any time and you will never know who has stolen your ideas and invention . Read below if you want to know how. I have contacted them but it looks like they do not not give a heck about your business or its secret.
After this post I am seeing lot of traffic from freelance scam keyword. I request you to write your experience in the comment section so that it will be helpful for others. Freelance r is an Australian registered company and in Australia the rules are transparent and strict. Freelance should not act as judiciary nor they are nor allowed to ask personal information from you, like photographs etc because you are not employed by them. They are just like real estate agent, who introduce the client to vendor. If you have come across such please contact http://fairtrade.com.au/
Hiding Ratings and Reviews about employers
Another way they found is hide the ratings and reviews about employers. So there is only one way to get good bids by creating a milestone payment to their account. (And they will eat all the interest earned from our money.) Once you created the milestone it is very hard to get it back, if the vendor did not agree. And freelancer will decide who is right (They are doing Judiciary work, that is strictly illegal in Australia).
Parts from thier final reply:
In relation to the correspondence of each party (employer and freelancer) through Private Message Board, only authorized Freelancer.com staff has the access on it. These correspondence will be automatically recorded on our Messaging Board for future reference.
So if you have a billion dollar idea you can confidently post it there as freelancer management is sure that their all staffs are honest and truthful :). Millions of shareholders also thought about the founder of sathyam computers in India. Any way all the best.
May be soon google, yahoo and msn will send you a same message that their authorized representatives (only) will be reading your emails 🙂
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It is normal that all companies will try to make more revenue in order to survive in this business world. But some time they will go in such a distance where they will forget the the ethic and basic principles of business confidentiality , privacy and consumer rights. Recently we have seen Instagram trying to sell their users photograph without their permission. They went to the extend to say that they will not even respect the copyright of the owners as they declared that any photo posted on their website is available for them to sell to commercial or personal use.
Imagine you went with your girlfriend to Bali or some other tourist destinations for honey moon,upload your photos to instagram and only to find it later, that your personal photos are there in the brochures of the hotel were you stayed. If your girlfriend is not understanding, then that is enough for you to break up and make your life miserable. She can think that you have sold her explicit photos with you for money as no body believe that respected company will do that.
Freelancer want to make more money by compromising the business secret of their customers
- Your ideas can be hijacked by a faceless staff of freelancer
- Please note all your instructions to your contractor is read by someone whom you never know or you will never going to know
Freelancer which is one of the popular platform for getting projects done from developing countries like India Pakistan philippines etc. They are also have associated with lot of previous malpractices before. When I google I found that, I am not the first person to write about freelancer.com privacy issue as google came up with another post by Chaim Kovalsky. It is more alarming as he tells us that Freelancer.com CEO uses nick name
It is pretty famous in India and other software services countries. They make their money by charging a project fee and milking 10% of the money whatever is passing through them. It is really good money considering their popularity and no of projects. We must consider that Facebook and all is able to make millions without charging any thing to users. But after the first project the employers used to give work directly to the free lancers as it is 10% less or the freelancer will get 10%. Any way every body was happy as long as they need not give any money to a shylock of “merchant of venice”.
But yesterday I found that the staff has read all the private message I have posted there and removed the contact information. When I asked them they say now on wards Freelancer will not allow to share contact information and you have to post all your message in our message board. Since the staff is deleted all the contact information it is pretty much sure that freelancers staff (who you never know or will not know ever) is reading your message.
First I was felt funny as with this policy nobody can post a project for visiting cards, logo design, website development. application developments as all these require to exchange the contact information. 🙂
It is really naive and arrogant to ask their customers to post their business secrets and tricks to their message boards where their staff is always putting their nose in it.
Imagine Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posting his idea for a freelancer here and these freelancers ghost staff can hijack it.
I hope the software community and whistle blowers will take this breach of trust and gross violation consumer right to appropriate authority. Also I hope this post will help the employers who is going to post their secrets here where it can be hijacked.
I contacted them with clarification. I am posting my important part of conversation with them step by step below. full thread you can see here
What is happening?? After awarding the project also why I can’t exchange contact information??
Thank you for contacting Customer Support.
Posting of contact details is now prohibited in the site since employers and freelancers can now initiate live chats for their communication.
Posting of contact details is against our Terms and Condition. To learn more about this, please read section 8.2 and 8.3 in our Terms and Condition.
Here is the link: http://www.freelancer.com/page.php?p=info/terms
If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to email us back.
That means even after awarding 1000 dollar contract we as an employer should work with ghost programmers.
Ha ha My god
I could not understand who made all these rules. In this digital age there are thousands of ways are there. Say if somebody given to develop a website if you search whois they will get the contact information.
Then if somebody want to develop an application to sell something and the employer want to add the contact information on the application so that if user like the application they can buy from him? then how to do??
Basically you are annoying your customers and asking then go to your competitors.
I can understand your motto. (10% all money from the freelancers). But history says otherthing.
No fair business ever succeeded in the world.
If I am wrong about the understanding of your contact policy please clarify.
Any way bye the time let me have a try with elance or odesk
Thank you for your reply.
It states in our site Terms and Conditions that you are prohibited from making direct contact with another user, unless it’s for a project you (a freelancer) have been picked for, or you (an employer) have picked a freelancer for. This includes giving out your e-mail address, ICQ number, phone number, or any other method of contact outside of this site. Freelancer.com provides you with project message board and inbox private messaging on site to communicate, which should be sufficient for pre-project planning. The only exception to this is on “Fulltime” projects. If a project has the “Fulltime” graphic on it, that means the Employer has paid a flat fee in advance, and you are allowed to provide contact information in the message board.
Let us know if you need further assistance.
Thank you for contacting Freelancer.com Support.
We are currently aware of the issue regarding contact details being removed by our Site Administrators upon the implementation of the new messaging system since yesterday. We have forwarded this concern to the proper department for further investigation.
If you need further assistance or clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Not only that How dare the freelancer to ask us to post our business secrets and tricks in a message board where your staffs are always watching
TOTALLY BREACH OF TRUST AND PRIVACY. GROSS VIOLATION OF BUSINESS TERMS AND CONSUMER RIGHTS.
Thank you for getting back to us.The Site is a dynamic time-sensitive web site. As such, the information on the Site will be changed frequently. Kindly refer to our Terms and Conditions under section 8.2 Email. For the new messaging system, you will be unable to put your contact details. We suggest that you maximize the use of the Private Message Board on the project page, so when problems arise we can easily track this. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us again.
May Final message to Freelancer support Desk
Whatever may be asking us to discuss or post our business secrets in a message board where your staffs are sniffing, is forcing us to compromise our business tricks to your staff, who we do not know. Unfortunately I am not having any other choice except to infor fair trade practices in Australia. Let them decide you are doing fair or not.
One more thing I want to clarify?? If google and yahoo depute their staff to sniff the emails and messages will freelance management people use their email??