oDesk Privacy Policy

Last modified: April 17, 2013
oDesk Corporation (“oDesk”, “our”, “us” or “we”) provides this Privacy Policy to inform you of our policies and procedures regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information we receive from users of www.odesk.com (the “Site”). This Privacy Policy applies only to information that you provide to us through the Site. This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time. We will notify you of any material changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on the Site. You are advised to consult this policy regularly for any changes. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our oDesk User Agreement, accessible at www.odesk.com.
As used in this policy, the terms “using” and “processing” information include using cookies on a computer, subjecting the information to statistical or other analysis and using or handling information in any way, including, but not limited to collecting, storing, evaluating, modifying, deleting, using, combining, disclosing and transferring information within our organization or among our affiliates within the United States or internationally.

Information Collection and Use

Our primary goals in collecting information are to provide and improve our Site, services, features and content (together, the “Service”) and to enable users to enjoy and easily navigate the Site.

Personally Identifiable Information.

  • In the course of using the Service (whether as a Client or Contractor), we may ask you to provide us with, or grant us access to, or permission to obtain, certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you; personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to, your name, company name, email address, postal address and phone number (“Personal Information”).
  • If you use the Service to make or receive payments, we will also collect certain Personal Information such as credit card information, PayPal or other financial account information, and billing address.
  • We may collect additional Personal Information to validate your identity, such as your date of birth or taxpayer identification number. We may request documents to verify this information, such as a copy of your government-issued identification or photo, and we may authenticate it against third party databases or request a credit report.
  • You may register to join the Service directly via the Site or by logging into your account with certain third party social networking services (including, but not limited to, Facebook) (“SNS”) via our Site. If you choose to register via an SNS, we will use the Personal Information you have provided to the SNS (such as your “real” name, email address, gender and other information you make publicly available via the SNS) to create your account; the information we extract may depend on the privacy settings you have with the 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 its accuracy, legality, or non-infringement.
  • You may link your oDesk account to your SNS account, in which case the SNS may share certain information about you with other SNS users, as well as sharing certain information about other SNS users with you. 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 the Site. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY SNS IS GOVERNED SOLELY BY YOUR AGREEMENT(S) WITH SUCH SNS. If you SNS account terminates, then functions enabled through the link between your oDesk account and your SNS account will terminate as well.
  • We also collect other information that you provide in connection with your use of the Service (e.g., zip code (on its own) and individual preferences) (“Non-Identifying Information”). We collect additional Non-Identifying Information from Clients in the form of information related to jobs posted via the Service (e.g., budget, location, history of job listings, timing of job performance and feedback/rating information). We also collect additional Non-Identifying Information from Contractors in connection with Contractor profiles (e.g., information on jobs previously performed, skills, tests taken, hourly pay rates and feedback/rating information).
  • We use your Personal Information (in some cases, in conjunction with your Non-Identifying Information) mainly to provide the Service, complete your transactions, and administer your inquiries.
  • Certain Non-Identifying Information would be considered a part of your Personal Information if it were combined with other identifiers (for example, combining your zip code with your street address) in a way that enables you to be identified. 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 and aggregate it with information collected from other oDesk Users (defined below) to attempt to provide you with a better experience, to improve the quality and value of the Service, and to analyze and understand how our Site and Service are used. We may also use the combined information without aggregating it to serve you specifically, for instance to deliver a product to you according to your preferences or restrictions.
  • We also use your Personal Information to contact you with oDesk newsletters, marketing or promotional materials 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 unsubscribe instructions provided in any of the communications.

Work Diaries.

As part of the Service, we collect information to create work diaries, which help facilitate communication between Clients and Contractors in connection with jobs (“Work Diaries”). Such Work Diaries may include information input by the Contractor, such as a memo, as well as automatically gathered information, such as oDesk credentials, such as computer identification information, screenshot plus screenshot metadata (which may contain the Contractor’s Personal Information), webcam shot (if present/enabled by the applicable Contractor), and number of keyboard and mouse events. oDesk may use general information from Work Diaries for statistical analysis, product development, marketing and research. Except as noted above, we do not treat information contained in Work Diaries as Personal Information, but we may use such information in association with Personal Information, and we may aggregate, analyze and evaluate such information for the same purposes as stated above regarding other Non-Identifying Information.

Log Data.

When you visit the Site, whether as a registered user or a non-registered user just browsing the Site (any of these, an “oDesk User”), our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website (“Log Data”). This Log Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, browser software version or the webpage you were visiting before you came to our Site, pages of our Site that you visit, the time spent on those pages, information you search for on our Site, access times and dates, and other statistics. In addition, we may use third party services such as Google Analytics that collect, monitor and analyze this type of information in order to increase our Site’s functionality and user-friendliness, to better tailor it to our visitors’ needs, and to detect suspicious activity. We may also use a third party service called SessionCam (www.SessionCam.com) or any similar service that will enable us to gather details of how you use our Site’s functionality. SessionCam may record mouse clicks, mouse movements, page scrolling and any text keyed into forms on our Site. The information collected by SessionCam does not include banking details or credit card numbers. These third party service providers have their own privacy policies addressing how they use such information. We do not treat Log Data as Personal Information, but we may use it in association with Personal Information, and we may aggregate, analyze and evaluate such Log Data for the same purposes as stated above regarding other Non-Identifying Information.

Cookies

Like many websites, we 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 cookies for two purposes. First, we utilize persistent cookies to save your registration ID and login password for future logins to the Site and to track your compliance with our marketplace policies. Second, we utilize session ID cookies to enable certain features of the Site, to better understand how you interact with the Site and to monitor aggregate usage by oDesk Users and web traffic routing on the Site. Unlike persistent cookies, session cookies are deleted from your computer when you log off from the Site and Service and then close your browser. You can 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 portions of the Site or all functionality of the Service.

Phishing

Identity theft and the practice currently known as “phishing” are of great concern to oDesk. Safeguarding information to help protect you from identity theft is a top priority. We do not and will not, at any time, request your credit card information, your account ID, login password, or national identification numbers in a non-secure or unsolicited e-mail or telephone communication. For more information about phishing, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

Contractor Profiles. If you choose to use the Service as a Contractor, you will be able to create a profile, which will be publicly viewable via the Service. Such profile may include information including, but not limited to, profile picture, name, location, information on jobs previously performed via the Service and outside the Service, skills, tests taken, hourly pay rates and feedback/rating information. You may edit your Contractor profile via your account.

Jobs.

If you choose to post a job listing via the Service as a Client, the contents of such job listing will be viewable via the Service. Job listings include information such as budget, location, history of job listing by the Client, the names of other Contractors performing jobs for the Client, Client feedback and rating information and timing of job performance. At the time of creating a job listing via the Service, you may select whether to make jobs publicly viewable via the Service or to edit privacy settings related to the job. If you choose to apply for a job as a Contractor via the Service, we will share with the applicable Client information related to your application, including, but not limited to, the information contained in your Contractor profile.

Feedback.

We collect feedback from users about their experience with other users of the Service. Please note that any feedback that you provide via the Service will be publicly viewable via the Service.

Work Diaries.

We will share information contained in Work Diaries only with the Client and with other Contractors who share a Client’s Team Room. We warn Contractors each time we capture information for a Work Diary, and the Contractor has a few seconds to block information from being uploaded to our Service. In addition, Contractors have the option to review and edit the information included in Work Diaries before it is locked for billing at the end of the work week.

Aggregate Information and Non-Identifying Information.

We may share aggregated information that does not include Personal Information and we may otherwise disclose Non-Identifying Information and Log Data with third parties for industry analysis, demographic profiling and other purposes. Any aggregated information shared in these contexts will not contain your Personal Information.

Service Providers.

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service, to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Site-related services (e.g., without limitation, maintenance services, database management, web analytics, payment processing, fraud detection and improvement of the Site’s features) or to assist us in analyzing how our Site and Service are used. These third parties have access to your Personal Information only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Compliance with Laws and Law Enforcement.

oDesk cooperates with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We will disclose any 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), 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, unethical or legally actionable activity.

Business Transfers.

oDesk may sell, transfer or otherwise share some or all of its assets, including your Personal Information, in connection with a merger, acquisition, reorganization or sale of assets or in the event of bankruptcy.

Changing or Deleting Your Information

All registered users may review, update, correct or delete the Personal Information in their registration profile by contacting us or by making edits via their accounts. If you completely delete all such information, then your account may become deactivated. If you would like us to delete your account in our system, please contact us at www.odesk.com>Contact Support>Account and Registration>Close Account. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to honor your request; however, your Personal Information may remain in our archives. We may retain an archived copy of your records as required by law or for legitimate business purposes. Please bear in mind that neither you nor oDesk can delete all copies of information that has been previously shared with others on the Site.

Security

oDesk is very concerned with safeguarding your information. The security of your personal information is important to us. But remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card number or social security number) on our registration or order forms, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL). In some cases, we also encrypt sensitive information where it is stored on our systems.
We will make any legally required disclosures of any breach of the security, confidentiality, or integrity of your unencrypted electronically stored “personal data” (as defined in applicable state statutes on security breach notification) to you via email or conspicuous posting on this Site in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay, insofar as consistent with (i) the legitimate needs of law enforcement or (ii) any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach and restore the reasonable integrity of the data system.

International Transfer

Your information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the privacy laws may not be as protective as those in your jurisdiction. If you are located outside the United States and choose to provide information to us, oDesk transfers Personal Information to the United States and processes it there. Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Links to Other Sites

Our Site 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. Other sites follow different rules regarding the use or disclosure of the personal information you submit to them. We encourage you to read the privacy policies or statements of the other websites you visit.

Our Policy Toward Children

This Site is not directed to persons under 18. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under 13. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personal Information without their consent, he or she should contact us at support@odesk.com. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with Personal Information, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to delete such information from our files.

Safe Harbor Compliance

oDesk complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. oDesk has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view oDesk’s certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor.
In compliance with the US-EU and US-Swiss Safe Harbor Principles, oDesk commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information. European Union or Swiss citizens with inquiries or complaints regarding this privacy policy should first contact oDesk as described below. oDesk has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the US-EU and US-Swiss Safe Harbor Principles to an independent dispute resolution mechanism, the BBB EU SAFE HARBOR, operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed by oDesk, please visit the BBB EU SAFE HARBOR web site at www.bbb.org/us/safe-harbor-complaints for more information and to file a complaint.

Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us by email at legal@odesk.com; by fax at 650-853-4101; or by mail addressed to 901 Marshall Street, Suite 200, Redwood City, California 94063.