Gig websites like ClearVoice, UpWork and Fiverr ask for an email ID and sometimes a phone number. Payments happen via PayPal, so they don't even need to ask for a bank account number, no matter where you are in the world.

However, the registration process of Appen required me to provide them with a scanned copy of any one of my government approved ID cards like a driving license etc. Lionbridge required my phone number, my home address, resume with all dates of previous employment mentioned accurately.

This extra information required by Appen and Lionbridge, made me suspicious. Is it ok to provide such info to companies located in another continent? Can't they just ask for the email ID associated with my PayPal account? (because PayPal would already verify who I am).

2 Answers 2


By US & EU law none of these companies are permitted to retain a copy of your identification. They may indeed look at it for verification purposes and then destroy it. This is why on sites (i.e. Freelancer.com) where they follow KYC (Know Your Customer - EU) and CIP (Customer Identification Program - US) laws they will make you verify your identity many times. Unlike the previous answer by Overwatch Media, there is nothing at all illegal about this and in fact, it will become more of a standard as time progresses.

I wouldn't worry too much about this practice when working with larger companies. Even less so if they are outsourcing this work to a reputable third-party verification service. I would however refuse to verify my identity with a fly-by-night freelancer service.


EDIT: You said government ID card in the first sentence and that usually means a Military or Government employee ID card when I hear people saying it. Copying a drivers license would be another story and many companies do ask for this. I have never heard of these two companies though so you would so you would need to research it a little. You may check BBB.org and see if they are on there. Lionbridge seems to sound more like you do not get credit for the work like UpWork and Fiverr. It sounds like the company lionbridge is hiring you as a contractor to then outsource you under there company name. That was just from looking at their homepage though. With Upwork, you are having to reach out to clients directly to try and get the client to agree to work with you in contrast. That may be why lionbridge is requesting your resume and accurate information, because they are hiring you to work for them.


A little confusing. Do you not have a personal identification card (State ID or License) if in the united states. If you do, then there is no reason they would need to ask you for such card unless you told them you are a government employee (still no reason to ask for it). If you are in the united states I can not recall all government ID's, however, for military ID's that would be considered illegal for you to provide it to them. No one is allowed to take your ID or photo copy it. They can look at it as proof of service, but that is it. Again, do not know if that applies for all government IDs but it shouldn't matter in this case because how would they know you are a government employee. Are you hiring people for gigs on behalf of the government?

Source: Military Veterans of our company

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