Effective: January 2, 2015
oDesk has received TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy statement and our practices have been reviewed for compliance with the TRUSTe program viewable on the validation page available by clicking the TRUSTe seal.
If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact TRUSTe here.
Please note that the TRUSTe Privacy Program covers www.odesk.com and its corresponding mobile website.
1. INFORMATION COLLECTION
Users of the Service may be Clients (anyone utilizing the oDesk platform to request services to be performed by a Freelancer) or Freelancers (any company, individual user, or groups of associated individual users or companies utilizing the oDesk platform to offer services to Clients). Freelancers may also operate as an Agency (a legally recognized entity with the ability to hire and/or contract) with other Freelancers.
Information You Provide to Us
Information Received from Third Parties
Information Collected from Users Automatically
We and our third party service providers, including analytics and third party content providers, may automatically collect certain information from you whenever you access or interact with the Service. This information may include, among other information, the browser and operating system you are using, the URL or advertisement that referred you to the Service, the search terms you entered into a search engine that led you to the Service, areas within the Service that you visited, and other information commonly shared when browsers communicate with websites. We may combine this automatically collected log information with other information we collect about you. We do this to improve services we offer you, to improve marketing, analytics, and site functionality.
The information we collect also includes the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address or other unique device identifier (“Device Identifier”) for any device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.) used to access the Service. A Device Identifier is a number that is automatically assigned or connected to the device you use to access the Service, and our servers identify your device by its Device Identifier. Some mobile service providers may also provide us or our third party service providers with information regarding the physical location of the device used to access the Service.
The technology used to collect information automatically from oDesk Users may include the following:
- Personal Information: In the course of using the Service (whether as a Client or Freelancer), we may require or otherwise collect information that identifies you as a specific individual and can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Information”). Examples of Personal Information include your name, email address, postal address and phone number.
- Payment Information: If you use the Service to make or receive payments, we will also collect certain payment information, such as payment card, PayPal or other financial account information, and billing address.
- Identity Verification: We may collect Personal Information, such as your date of birth, or taxpayer identification number, to validate your identity or as may be required by law, such as completion of tax filings. We may request documents to verify this information, such as a copy of your government-issued identification or photo or a billing statement.
- General Audience Service: The Service is general audience and intended for users 18 and older. We do not knowingly collect Personal Information from anyone younger than age 18. If we become aware that a child younger than 18 has provided us with Personal Information, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to delete such information from our files. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child younger than age 18 and believe that oDesk has collected Personal Information from your child, please contact us at: email@example.com.
- Non-Identifying Information/User Names: We also may collect other information, such as zip codes, demographic data, information regarding your use of the Service, and general project-related data (“Non-Identifying Information”). We may aggregate information collected from oDesk registered and non-registered users (“oDesk Users”). We consider usernames to be Non-Identifying Information. Usernames are made public through the Service and are viewable by other oDesk Users.
- Combination of Personal and Non-Identifying Information: Certain Non-Identifying Information would be considered a part of your Personal Information if it were combined with other identifiers in a way that enables you to be identified (for example, combining information with your name). But the same pieces of information are considered Non-Identifying Information when they are taken alone or combined only with other non-identifying information (for example, your viewing preferences). We may combine your Personal Information with Non-Identifying Information, but oDesk will treat the combined information as Personal Information.
Certain web browsers and certain browser add-ons such as Adobe Flash may provide additional data storage mechanisms that are used in a manner similar to cookies, and some of the content included on our Sites may make use of this type of storage. For example, a Flash cookie is a data file placed on a device via the Adobe Flash plugin that may be built-in to or downloaded by you to your device. For more information about Flash and the privacy choices Adobe offers, visit link.
Web Beacons: We and our marketing partners, affiliates, analytics, and service providers may also employ software technology known as “web beacons” or “tracking tags” to help us keep track of what content on our Sites is effective and to serve relevant advertising to you. Web beacons are small graphics with a unique identifier that may be invisible to you, and which are used to track the online activity of Internet users. Web beacons are embedded in the web pages you review or email messages you receive. Web beacons or similar technologies may be used for a number of purposes, including, without limitation, to count visitors to our Service, to monitor how oDesk Users navigate the Service, to count how many e-mails that were sent were actually opened, or to count how many particular articles or links were actually viewed.
Embedded Scripts: An Embedded Script is programming code that is designed to collect information about your interactions with the Service, such as the links you click on. The code is temporarily downloaded onto your computer or other device and is deactivated or deleted when you disconnect from the Service.
In addition, we may use a variety of other technologies that collect similar information for security and fraud detection purposes and we may use third parties to perform these services on our behalf.
How We Respond To Do Not Track Signals
Please note that your browser setting may allow you to automatically transmit a “Do Not Track” signal to websites and online service you visit. There is no consensus among industry participants as to what “Do Not Track” means in this context. Like many websites and online services, oDesk does not alter its practices when it receives a “Do Not Track” signal from a visitor’s browser. To find out more about “Do Not Track,” please visit http://www.allaboutdnt.com.
Work Diaries and Work View
As part of the Service, we collect information about a Freelancer’s work on a project for a Client. This feature is known as Work Diary. Work Diaries include information provided by the Freelancer, such as a memo, as well as automatically gathered information about work on a project, such as number of mouseclicks and keyboard strokes and regularly taken screenshots (which may include a webcam picture of you if you have not disabled this feature in your settings). In order to use Work Diaries you must download and install the Team App software from www.odesk.com.
We will share information contained in Work Diaries with the relevant Client and with any manager or administrator of any applicable Freelancer Agency. We inform Freelancers each time we capture information for Work Diary. As set forth in our Terms of Service, End User License Agreement, and help pages on the Site, a Freelancer may choose to block or delete the screen shot and associated data for a recorded work interval, but then the Freelancer may not be paid for that work interval. oDesk may use general information from Work Diaries for statistical analysis, product development, marketing and research.
You may have the opportunity to create a profile, which consists of information about you, and may include Personal Information, photographs, examples of your work, information on work previously performed via the Service and outside the Service, skills, tests taken, test scores, hourly pay rates, feedback/rating information and other information, including your username (“Profile”). The information in your Profile may be visible to all oDesk Users and the general public subject to the privacy choices you make within your oDesk Profile. You may edit certain information in your Profile via your account and may choose to limit who is able to view certain content you post to your Profile. Clients and Agencies of associated individual users or companies may also have the opportunity to create an organization Profile. If in any case, you believe that an unauthorized profile has been created about you, you can request for it to be removed by contacting us at https://support.odesk.com.
The Service may provide you the opportunity to participate and post content publicly in forums, on blogs, through interactive features oDesk and through other communication functionality ("Community Forums"). You may choose, through such features or otherwise, to submit or post questions, comments, or other content (collectively, "User Forum Content"). Please note that certain information, such as your name and Profile may be publicly displayed on the Service along with your User Forum Content. Please note that your use of Community Forums is subject to the oDesk Forum Rules and our Terms of Service.
To request removal of your personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us at https://support.odesk.com. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.
We display personal testimonials of satisfied customers on our site in addition to other endorsements. With your consent we may post your testimonial along with your name. If you wish to update or delete your testimonial, you can contact us at www.support.odesk.com.
Work Listings Through the Service
If you choose to post a work listing via the Service as a Client, the contents of such listing will be viewable publicly, unless you designate the listing as only viewable through the Service or as private using the settings available on the applicable website. Work listings include information such as budget, location, history of work listing(s) by the Client, the names of other Freelancers performing work for the Client, Client feedback and rating information and timing of project performance.
We collect feedback from oDesk Users about their experience with other oDesk Users of our Service. Please note that any feedback you provide via the Service or feedback provided about you is publicly viewable via the Service. On very rare occasions, we may remove feedback pursuant to our Feedback Removal Policy.
Email to Friends and Referral Program
oDesk lets you send project postings to friends via email. oDesk also offers the ability to send friends emails about providing or purchasing services through the Service. If you choose to use either feature, your friend’s email address will be used to send the requested posting and your email address will be used to copy you on the message to your friend or to send the message on your behalf.
Social Networking Services
You may register to join the Service directly via the Service or by logging into your account with a third party social networking service (“SNS”) via our Service (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn and other third party services that let you sign in using your existing credentials with those services). If you choose to register via an SNS, or to later link your account with the Service to your account with an SNS, we will use the Personal Information you have provided to the SNS (such as your name, email address, gender and other information you make publicly available via the SNS) to create your account. Note that the information we collect from and through an SNS may depend on the privacy settings you have set with the SNS and the permissions you grant to us in connection with linking your account with the Service to your account with an SNS. Other than what we may share with the SNS as described below, the Personal Information an SNS has about you is obtained by the SNS independent of our Service, and oDesk is not responsible for it.
The oDesk Service also may permit additional interactions between it and a third party website, service, or other content provider, such as enabling you to “like” or share content to a third party SNS. If you choose to “like” or share content, or to otherwise share information from or via our Service with a third party site or service, that information may be publicly displayed, and the third party may have access to information about you and your use of our Service (and we may have access to information about you from that third party). These Features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our site, and may set a cookie to enable the Feature to function properly. Your interactions with third parties through SNS or similar features are governed by the respective privacy policies of those third parties.
You represent that you are entitled to use your SNS account for the purposes described herein without breach by you of any of the terms and conditions that govern the SNS, and without obligating oDesk to pay any fees or making oDesk subject to any usage limitations imposed by such SNS. You can disable the link between your oDesk account and your SNS account at any time though the “Settings” section of our Service. Please note that your relationship with any SNS is governed solely by your agreement(s) with such SNS. If your SNS account terminates, then functions enabled through the link between your oDesk account and your SNS account will terminate as well.
- Like many websites, we and our marketing partners, affiliates, analytics, and service providers use “cookies” to collect information. A cookie is a small data file that we transfer to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes. We use both persistent cookies that remain on your computer or similar device (such as to save your registration ID and login password for future logins to the Service and to track your compliance with any oDesk applicable policies) and session ID cookies, which expire at the end of your browser session (for example, to enable certain features of the Service, to better understand how oDesk Users interact with the Service and to monitor aggregate usage by oDesk Users and web traffic routing on the Service). You may be able to instruct your browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all functionality of the Service.
2. USE AND RETENTION OF INFORMATION
We use information we collect:
Unless you request that we delete certain information (see Changing Your Information or Closing Your Account below, we retain the information we collect for at least 5 years and may retain the information for as long as needed for our business and legal purposes.
- To provide and improve the Service, complete your transactions, and address your inquiries, process your registration, verify the information you provide is valid and for compliance and internal business purposes;
- To contact you with administrative communications and oDesk newsletters, marketing or promotional materials (on behalf of oDesk or third parties) and other information that may be of interest to you. If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive such communications from us, please follow the instructions in the Your Choices and Opting Out section, below.
- To tailor content we display to you and offers we may present to you, both on the Service and elsewhere online;
- To administer and develop our business relationship with you and, if applicable, the company you represent;
- To assess your application to perform a freelance project for oDesk and prepare related governmental and internal statistics reports; and
3. INFORMATION SHARING AND DISCLOSURE
- Information about Freelancers Shared with Clients and Agencies: We share information regarding Freelancers working on a Client project, including information in Work Diaries and work history, with Clients. Note that if a Freelancer is suspended from the oDesk Service, we may share that information with Clients for whom that Freelancer has worked or applied for work. We may also share information with Agencies to whom Freelancers are associated for a particular work project. If you choose to apply for work as a Freelancer via the Service, we will share information relevant to your application with the applicable Client(s), including, but not limited to, the information contained in your Freelancer Profile.
- Service Providers: We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service, to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Service-related services (e.g., without limitation, maintenance services, database management, web analytics and online advertising, payment processing, fraud detection and improvement of oDesk’s features) or to assist us in analyzing how our Service is used. These third parties may have access to your Personal Information in order to perform these tasks on our behalf.
- Legal and Investigative Purposes: oDesk will share information with government agencies as required by law, including without limitation, in connection with reporting earnings. We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We will disclose information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate to respond to claims and legal process (including but not limited to subpoenas), at the request of governmental authorities or other third parties conducting an investigation, to protect the property and rights of oDesk or a third party, to protect the safety of the public or any person, or to prevent or stop activity we may consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, illegal, fraudulent, unethical or legally actionable activity. We may also use Device Identifiers to identify oDesk Users, and may do so in cooperation with third parties at our discretion.
- Internal and Business Transfers: oDesk may share information, including Personal Information, with its parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, primarily for business and operational purposes. We may sell, transfer or otherwise share some or all of our assets, including your Personal Information, in connection with a merger, acquisition, reorganization or sale of assets (including, in each case, as part of the due-diligence process with any potential acquiring entity) or in the event of bankruptcy. You will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website of any change in ownership or uses of your personal information, as well as any choices you may have regarding your personal information.
- Sweepstakes, Contests and Promotions: We may offer sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions (any, a "Promotion") that may require registration. By participating in a Promotion, you are agreeing to the official rules that govern that Promotion, which may contain specific requirements of you, including, except where prohibited by law, allowing the sponsor(s) of the Promotion to use your name, voice, likeness or other indicia of persona in advertising or marketing associated with the Promotion. If you choose to enter a Promotion, your Personal Information may be disclosed to third parties or the public in connection with the administration of such Promotion, including, without limitation, in connection with winner selection, prize fulfillment, and as required by law or permitted by the Promotion's official rules, such as on a winner’s list.
4. THIRD PARTY ANALYTICS PROVIDERS, AD SERVERS AND SIMILAR THIRD PARTIES
oDesk works with (or may in the future work with) network advertisers, ad agencies, analytics service providers and other vendors: to provide us with information regarding traffic on the Service, including pages viewed and the actions taken when visiting the Service; to serve our advertisements on other web sites, within mobile apps and elsewhere online; and to provide us with information regarding the use of the Service and the effectiveness of our advertisements. Our service providers may collect certain information about your visits to and activity on the Service as well as other web sites or services, they may set and access their own tracking technologies on your device (including cookies and web beacons), and may use that information to show you targeted advertisements. Some of these parties may collect Personal Information when you visit the Service or other online websites and services.
While we may use a variety of service providers to perform advertising services, some of these companies are members of the Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI”) or the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. You may want to visit http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp, which provides information regarding targeted advertising and the “opt-out” procedures of NAI members. You may also want to visit or http://www.aboutads.info/choices/, which provides information regarding targeted advertising and offers an “opt-out” by participating companies in the DAA Self-Regulatory Program. You may also opt-out by clicking here (or if located in the European Union click here). Please note that opting out through these mechanisms does not opt you out of being served advertising, and you will continue to receive generic ads while online.
5. YOUR CHOICES AND OPTING OUT
Registered oDesk Users may update their choices regarding the types of communications you receive from us through your online account. You also may opt-out of receiving marketing e-mails from us by following the opt-out instructions provided in those e-mails. Please note that we reserve the right to send you certain communications relating to your account or use of the Service (for example, administrative and service announcements) via email and other means and these transactional account messages may be unaffected if you opt-out from receiving marketing communications. You may opt-out of receiving text messages by replying “STOP” to any text message received. Registered oDesk Users who access the Service by using an oDesk mobile application may, with permission, receive push notifications. Notification preferences can be modified in the settings menu for the mobile application.
6. CHANGING YOUR INFORMATION OR CLOSING YOUR ACCOUNT
You are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the information you submit to us, such as your contact information, and you must update any changes through your online account. If you request to access all personal information you’ve submitted, we will respond to your request to access within 30 days. If you completely delete all such information, then your account may become deactivated. If your account is deactivated or you ask to close your account, you will no longer be able to use the Service. If you would like us to delete your account in our system, you can do so through the oDesk Service (once you logged in, visit settings/ user settings, and then click on the close my account link). We will use commercially reasonable efforts to honor your request; however, certain information will actively persist on the Service even if you close your account, including information in your Work Diaries and messages you posted to the Service. In addition, your Personal Information may remain in our archives and information you update or delete, or information within a closed account, may persist internally or for our administrative purposes. It is not always possible to completely remove or delete information from our databases. In addition, we typically will not remove information you posted publicly through or on the Service. Bear in mind that neither you nor oDesk can delete all copies of information that has been previously shared with others on the Service.
oDesk takes commercially reasonable steps to help protect and secure the information it collects and stores about oDesk Users. All access to the Sites is encrypted using industry-standard transport layer security technology (TLS). When you enter sensitive information (such as tax identification number), we encrypt the transmission of that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL). We also use HTTP strict transport security to add an additional layer of protection for our oDesk Users. But remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Thus, while we strive to protect your personal data, oDesk cannot ensure and does not warrant the security of any information you transmit to us.
8. INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
oDesk is certified under the Safe Harbor privacy framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce, European Commission and Switzerland regarding the collection, storage, use, transfer and other processing of Personal Information transferred from the European Economic Area or Switzerland to the U.S. To view our Safe Harbor Certification, click here.
9. LINKS TO OTHER SITES
Our Service contains links to other websites. If you choose to click on a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s website. The fact that we link to a website is not an endorsement, authorization or representation of our affiliation with that third party, nor is it an endorsement of their privacy or information security policies or practices. We do not exercise control over third party websites. These other websites may place their own cookies or other files on your computer, collect data or solicit Personal Information from you. We encourage you to read the privacy policies or statements of the other websites you visit.
Phishing websites imitate legitimate websites in order to obtain personal or financial information. Identity theft and the practice currently known as “phishing” are of great concern to oDesk. For more information about phishing, visit the website of the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing. In addition, if you believe you have received an email or had a similar interaction with a third party pretending to be oDesk, please report it at https://support.odesk.com.
11. CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS – YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS
If you are a California resident and you have questions about our practices with respect to sharing information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes and your ability to exercise choice, please send your request to the following email address: legal@oDesk.com or write to us at the following mailing address:
441 Logue Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
You must put the statement "Your California Privacy Rights" in the subject field of your e-mail or include it in your writing if you choose to write to us at the designated mailing address. You must include your name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. We will respond to you at your mailing address or, at our option, your e-mail address. We are not responsible for notices that are not labeled or sent properly, or do not have complete information.
12. CHANGES TO THIS POLICY