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Poll: Do you provide personal information if your client requests it (passport number, for example)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:32
SITE STAFF
Oct 5, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you provide personal information if your client requests it (passport number, for example)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalia Pedrosa. View the poll results »



 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Passport number? Oct 5, 2015

Why on earth would they have any need of that? It's a ridiculous demand that should be received with ridicule. Some people don't even have passports! Does that invalidate them?

My clients are free to browse all the information I disclose on my CV, here, on LinkedIn etc. They can send a PM. We can exchange emails. By prior arrangement, they can phone or Skype me. But they don't get my address or bank details until we have an agreement.

Of course they may have concerns about my suitability, just as I may have concerns about their ability/willingness to pay. That's why I would always suggest starting with a small job. That's the way to evaluate a translator! And if the concern is to do with money laundering etc then a passport proves nothing anyway.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Oct 5, 2015

I give details for business purposes only.

In several ways my business information is identical with personal information - name, address, telephone number, mail address, native language.
A list of my professional qualifications and experience when we get that far.

Then I give my company VAT registration number, and that is all they need.

If any client wants more, I drop them immediately.



[Edited at 2015-10-05 11:24 GMT]


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:32
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Depends Oct 5, 2015

It depends who wants it, what they want, and why they want it. At first I only give information which is publicly available, such as Proz / LinkedIn profile, website etc. Eventually, though, I have to hand over my bank details if I want to be paid. If the customer needs to send me a hard copy of something I have to give them my postal address. On the few occasions I have arranged to meet a customer somewhere I give them my mobile number in case of difficulty. As a general rule, I only give out additional information if it is absolutely necessary and I am comfortable about the 'who', 'what' and 'why'.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I've never received such a request! Oct 5, 2015

Whatever for?

I have been around for such a long time that I find amusing when an agency asks for my diploma. I've moved several times and I have no idea where my diploma is…


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
And why not? Oct 5, 2015

In my modelling career, I regularly shared my vital statistics and more with potential clients.

Money laundering sounds so much more fun than translating all day and then moving onto clothes laundering, cleaning, ironing, cooking etc etc. How can I tweak my ProZ profile so I get offered a piece of the action?


 

DorothyX (X)
France
Local time: 13:32
Same here Oct 5, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

Whatever for?

I have been around for such a long time that I find amusing when an agency asks for my diploma. I've moved several times and I have no idea where my diploma is…


But I am member of my translation school's alumni and one cannot be a member if one does not have the diploma.

The only thing they can ask me is a certificate that I am paying my social charges in my country. If I cannot provide it, in some countries this means that they are providing me with illegal work. So they have a valid reason to ask for this.

But a passport number? Why should they need that? To be sure that I am not a citizen of a terrorist country?


 

Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:32
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
I've never received such a request Oct 5, 2015

Why should I?!

 

Sofijana Stamenkovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 13:32
Member (2007)
English to Serbian
+ ...
I received such request - once Oct 5, 2015

This was their explanation: "This is part of the requirement. If you are unable to provide a copy of your passport then we would have to deactivate your profile unfortunately. I assure you we are a professional company and your documents would be completely safe with us."

After several days of correspondence and only because they are my regular clients since 2008, I've decided to send the copy of national ID, which in fact contains only data that I've already shared with them: my name, DOB, country of residence. I'm not in any obligation to have a passport - so they accepted national ID.

At first, I was shocked and this was the first and the only time I received such request.

However, if they were not my long-term, regular client, I think I would not provide any personal document - not even national ID.


 

tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:02
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
I never received such request. Oct 5, 2015

No, Clients demand mostly qualification related documents, sometimes ID proof in case of any necessity. But no client demanded passport like documents.

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Under certain controlled circumstances Oct 5, 2015

I felt strongly tempted to interject a joke on Chris S's statement: …in my modelling career, I shared my vital statistics and more with potential clients… Big chuckle, she does that on purpose.

Back to brass tacks: here in America, translation companies with US government or Department of Defense ties may request additional information, including your passport number. Why? Two words: background check.

So, if you want to take part in a translation stint involving secret, classified or confidential information for the US government, expect to be prodded with phone and in-person interviews. You are expected to supply personal data such as a passport number.

On another instance, if you are hired as an in-house translator at an American company, you are expected to show up with your passport and fill out a government form stating that you are a US citizen or US resident and therefore authorized to work in the United States.

Apparently, current lawbreaker and spy Snowden has done a heck of a job enthroning the absolute idea of privacy above everything else.

[Edited at 2015-10-05 15:20 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-10-05 15:21 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:32
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Great caution applies Oct 5, 2015

Providing such personal information to a "potential" client is completely out of the question. In fact, when a potential client asks for my business brochure, I will send it, that is, the copy without all personal information such as address, full name, phone number, etc. In its place is a note that all information will be provided on my first invoice. In short, no paid assignment, no personal information.

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Poll and privacy laws Oct 5, 2015

Thayenga wrote:

Providing such personal information to a "potential" client is completely out of the question. In fact, when a potential client asks for my business brochure, I will send it, that is, the copy without all personal information such as address, full name, phone number, etc. In its place is a note that all information will be provided on my first invoice. In short, no paid assignment, no personal information.



Actually, the poll specifies the requester as a client, not a prospect or a potential customer.

Here in the United States, if a private company were to request such information (driver's license #, passport #, etc.) I would not even answer the request. Same thing for Social Security number requests from unauthorized parties (not your bank, not your health care insurer, not your doctor's office if you are a new patient, etc.). The same caution applies to cases when someone requests your credit card number over the phone.

Our privacy laws are slightly different here but the basic principle applies. I'm all for caution, as you stated.

Now, if a client (and you know it's your client and/or a bona fide prospect) were to ask you to fill out a W-9 (it's a federal government form that requires you to input your Social Security number or Tax Identification number), that's a legitimate request.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once Oct 5, 2015

I worked on a project that required a security clearance from the US government. They required a copy of my driver's license, fingerprints, and a background check, as well as several personal and professional references. I also received a visit from someone at my home. They were all very friendly and professional, but I don't think that I would go through the process again.

I wouldn't give that information to anyone else, even foreign governments.


 

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:32
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
No Oct 5, 2015

It is curious that the more the agency is fishy the more they tend to want sensitive information.
EU has strict policy but even Japan has adopted such regulation only recently so better not to disclose.

I only work with trusted ones and based on trust generated from long-term collaboration usually passport number is not as strong as working relationship.

It takes a while and it is not provided or constructed by just giving out your important information.
If they want some credential, ProZ paid membership or ATA, etc would work enough.

Does anyone think today passport number can help to prove your translation and working skill?
If so, HOW COME? Do you ask your project managers to disclose driving license?


I am also worried about circulating CV without consent. I once heard from an agency that they have "network" to do so - RUN!

[2015-10-05 19:04 GMTに編集されました]


 
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