Fiverr Forum

Fiverr seems to illegally require a copy of my passport


#1

Hello,

After a few successful sales, I now received a message from Fiverr stating that I need to send them a copy of my passport in order to proceed selling on the platform.
By Dutch law (which apply to me as a citizen of The Netherlands and who works there), a company such as Fiverr is not allowed to require a copy of identification. Only governmental institutions may require this. A company may ask for a copy of the ID, but I should be free to decline this request. As a matter of fact, it is explicitly advised by our own government to never share an ID with unauthorized organizations, since the more places have a copy your ID stored, the greater the risk of a criminal gaining access to it and abusing it for identity theft.

So how do I circumvent the passport requirement? There must be a way, for Fiverr to be able to legally operate in my country.


#2

This is exactly what Fiverr is doing. You are free to decline the request, but then you may not be allowed to work here on Fiverr. Do what you need to do, but do be mindful of the fact that Fiverr is allowed to vet their freelancers in order to improve security, and the quality/trust of those who work here.

Fiverr does not “operate within your country”, YOU operate as a freelancer within your country. Fiverr merely offers their freelancer services online, and you choose to host your services here.

As far as I am aware, Fiverr’s has headquarters (thereby “operating within a country”) in Israel and the United States.


#3

Hi,

Fiverr is a company that’s registered in Israel and the United States. It operates an online website that people from anywhere in the world can access with an internet connection. So, I am not entirely sure if they have to abide by the laws/rules of ALL the countries of the world. However, Fiverr has to abide by international law, and international law focuses on much more macro aspects of the law.

According to Dutch law, you are allowed to decline Fiverr’s request to provide them a copy of your passport. However, Fiverr has the right to deny you permission to use their website.

Technically (and legally) speaking, Fiverr does not “operate” in your country of residence.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s another way out. :crying_cat_face:


#4

An internet service is subject to the law of the country it is accessed from. For this reason for instance, companies that operate from the USA, must adapt their sites in such a way that it complies to the GDPR when visited from an IP within the EU. For that reason, some sites even decided to block any visitor from the EU to not have to go through the hassle. Fiverr clearly didn’t and therefore I may expect their data storage of my account is GDPR compliant. And also Dutch passport Law compliant. Another example is the EU “right to be forgotten” that forces Google to delete search results for EU citizens. And many country specific rules apply to various services. Netflix and Spotify have a big complicated web of rules in their backend to make their service work with the law in every country they offer their services in.

And as far as I understand, yes, Fiverr may choose to not work with me, but this may not be because of me not willing to provide a copy of my passport. Blocking me access to anything solely for this reason is forbidden by law. Correct me if I’m wrong.


#5

I don’t know the law in The Netherlands, but I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to work in Amsterdam, I would have to show a passport or some form of ID, unless I want to work under the table if you catch my meaning.

My suggestion would be to scan a copy of your passport and send them that. Your privacy is safe, Fiverr just wants to see if you are who you say you are.

You are wrong. Fiverr is a global company, not subject to the laws of any country. Work on Fiverr is a privilege, not a right, and a privilege can be granted or taken away under any number of conditions. Besides, the EU loves Fiverr because they’re collecting taxes from Fiverr sellers. I hear that when you withdraw your Fiverr money in Europe, you pay a VAT immediately.

Think of Fiverr like any business in the new economy, like Lyft, Uber, etc. The rules and standards are different, the reality of working here is different.

Here’s an example, Amsterdam has a red light district, Fiverr doesn’t. I wish it did, but alas, they want to keep it family-friendly for some reason. It’s the way things are. So if Fiverr wants a passport and you want to make money, give them the passport. What’s the worst that can happen?


#6

Well, how safe is our data? Since even Facebook leaked users info…


#7

If you have a problem with how Fiverr operates their business, it would be best to take it up with them. This is Fiverr’s website, and I am fairly certain that they know the laws of operating their business much more than you do (they likely even have a legal team working for them, as most large companies do). I am certain that they are aware of the issues you refer to. The fact that they continue to operate this way, suggests to me that there is nothing wrong with how they have chosen to handle these issues.

Just because you don’t like how something is handled, does not mean it is illegal.


#8

Technically, there is a way. Fiverr says that it will only ask for your identity information once. (Namely, to prove your identity).

Under GDPR (which applies to you in the EU) you have the right to file a subject access request with any company or website you believe holds personally identifiable information on you. Companies have 40-days to comply and disclose:

  • What information they have
  • Why they need it
  • How long they plan to keep it
  • Where & how it is stored
  • If it has been shared with anyone
  • Why it has been shared with anyone

You can also request deletion of this information.

Given the above, you could verify your ID with Fiverr. Once verification is complete, Fiverr will theoretically have no further need of your ID details.

Technically, you can, therefore, file an SAR request to find out all of the above points I listed and request deletion of your data. If Fiverr only wants your ID to verify who you are, they shouldn’t have a problem complying. Of course, likely they will inform you that deleting your data will require deleting our account. What you can do, though, is use an SAR request to have it made clear how safe your personal information is, Also, it is against GDPR guidelines for a company to refuse service to you just for requesting such information.

Read up on GDPR. Know your full legal rights. In the very least, you might possibly be entitled to a payout if your ID information is ever lost, miss-handled, or stolen. :slight_smile:


#9

You can visit Fiverr, browse gigs, etc. You don’t need an ID for that. You cannot sell on Fiverr without doing as Fiverr asked. Fiverr doesn’t have to allow you to sell or even to have a buyer account. Your options are:

Comply with Fiverr 's request and fully use a Fiverr account.

Don’t comply and accept the situation as a site visitor.

Contact Support and ask them to make exceptions and see if they want to do so.

Use the suggestions of cyaxrex to try to bring about change.

There are no guarantees any of this will do what you hope. Fiverr has the right to deny access to any user.


#10

The worst that can happen is like I said, passport abuse for identity theft which happens fairly commonly, where the victims are left with big financial debts


#11

Hi there. Here’s a link to Fiverr’s Privacy Policy, in case you haven’t seen it yet, it contains a paragraph regarding “Rights of Users Under EU Regulation”.


#12

I wouldn’t worry too much about identity theft, and I’m speaking as a victim of identity theft. I once had someone steal my tax ID and claim a refund that wasn’t his. I’ve also had issues with credit cards and strange charges in cities I’ve never been to, which is why I check them daily.

Even if passport information was stolen, it wouldn’t be enough for identity theft, and I’m pretty sure Fiverr has many safeguards to prevent stuff from being stolen.

Suffice to say, the benefits of our online economy are worth the danger. Who wants to go back to paying for everything in cash? I drive for Lyft, I love not having to handle cash. If I had cash, I would be a target for thieves, but thanks to everything being online, there are no thieves besides hackers, phishers, and other online outlaws. Even then, technology is getting better, I can use my thumb print to login on some accounts, that’s not something that’s easy to steal.


#13

Watch out for those thumb-stealing crime rings. Facebook says that they dress as Disney princesses, sneak in for a hug and - BAM - they use pocket 3D printers to copy your thumb. Today I saw 3 Cinderellas in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Luckily I had my thumb armor on.


#14

I had a cab driver steal the credit card number I gave him to pay for my fare and was notified by Visa that there were two $800 charges in a distant state shortly afterwards.


#15

On a serious note, credit card skimming is a real issue. I would just say that it’s different from the actual OP concern and that I do hesitate to use credit cards with strangers, gas stations, restaurants. A PayPal card is nice since you can manually set limits on use. I’ve been burned with cards too.


#16

If one company which has your thumb print on file gets hacked, the security of anywhere you use your thumb print can be subverted in seconds.

If you use your thumb print to clock in at work and unlock your phone, a hacker who gains access to your work security database can access your phone (even remotely) and everywhere from Disney Land (which also uses thumb print ID) to your own home if you are one of those people spellbound by the word ‘smart’ and have a smart home door lock.

Thumbprints are only anywhere near as secure as passwords and physical keys, if you have a miraculous ability to grow a new thumb every time someone steals your data and the company they steal it from is nice enough to let you know.

Be careful with those thumbs of yours. :wink:


#17

Why doesn’t Fiverr simply initiate video call and confirm the identity?


#18

As a reply to comments about the risk being low; I am convinced (and know personal accounts to know this) that the risk is very real even with ONLY a copy of ID. An ID allows you to open up a bank account, rent a house, lend money from quick loan companies, open up credit accounts and in turn order lots of products with shops… and then disappear. In the end, the debt collectors will end up at your address and your life will be a mess with no one able to help you.
This is unfortunately a very common story.


#19

I’d be equally worried about giving anybody a copy of any form of ID.

Interesting what you find if you search for the word ‘passport’ on the forum:
https://forum.fiverr.com/search?q=passport

The first thread that comes up offers a fake document service, complete with email addresses. Should Fiverr be advertising such a service, even if it is on the forum and a bit aged?


#20

Companies like Yahoo, Facebook and Amazon have had data hacks that allowed hackers to get millions of passwords. Banks in the US also have had hacks of accounts. What could hackers do with a million copies of IDs? It seems like a temptation.

As I recall even the IRS has had it’s servers hacked at one time.

There are hacking groups now that are fairly capable of hacking almost any server they want it seems like. That’s the impression I get.

If a bank has a need to see an ID for verifying someone’s identity, and you have sent your ID out to be stored on a server somewhere, can they have access to your bank account?