ID Verifications

@claresitsdogs Hi Clare, I registered to this forum for the sole purpose of replying to your comment to say you are definitely not the only one against the verification process. I too am refusing to risk yet another a 3rd party data breach and I feel like my 6 year “career” has been devastated by these unnecessary changes.

It’s as though all our 5* reviews from previous HOs mean nothing for future HOs’ assurances. I don’t see how a company over there in America confirming my name is Jo from Kent assures a HO that a sitter won’t lose their dog, or leave their home in a mess. Reviews do that much better, which is why I don’t accept the reasons given for this ID mandate.

I thought you were a star on the locked thread about this mandate, and you’re certainly not the only one sticking to your guns over this, that thread was pretty universally against this. I hadn’t thought of Facebook, where else do you advertise yourself these days apart from other housesit sites?

To answer your lingering question, no the system doesn’t let you accept invitations either. I had an invitation I couldn’t accept, it made things very awkward. The button used to say “Accept Invitation” but now says “Apply”, meaning we must effectively apply to the invitation.

Anyway, good luck to you.

Jo

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It might be easier if you direct message @claresitsdogs so you can have a completely honest exchange :wink: Just saying….

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I believe I can still accept sits where the homeowner has personally invited me - I’m honestly not sure though as I’ve not been able to accept any lately as they’ve not been a good fit for some reason or another.

I definitely CANNOT apply for sits anymore. So I’m using FB pages where many sits are being posted - or just posting my availability on there. Lots of THS HO’s are using these pages too to advertise their sits, where they are not getting enough (or any) applicants on the platform.

I think this is the ‘elephant in the room’ where the imbalance might be coming from. I surely can’t be the only one that disagreed with this verification process, that can no longer apply for sits?

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What a shame

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hello everyone ! i am new to this site and i have never officially house or pet sat and i am feeling really uncomfortable with sharing my passport etc… info . I am from Montreal , Quebec about to move to BC in 2 months . My son and I are about to embark on an incredible adventure together , road trip across Canada , selling all our furniture and starting a new career ! I was curious and assume that all members have been ID verified so there is no risk ?

I’m OK sharing my passport details with THS but draw the line at my SIN number. It’ll be sayonara for us once that’s required…
Mary

I shared my ID with them when I joined (I’m Canadian). I believe we used our driver’s licence but I would be fine using my passport if it was requested.

The company they use (Evident) has end-to-end encryption and appears to be pretty trustworthy. Obviously no website is completely fool-proof, but this one has banking level security so I think at some point, I just have to accept it. Check out the Evident website to look for specific info on their encryption methods.

I do support THS using a well known company to verify ID of all sitters because in the long run, it gives the company more credibility and therefore, more sits for us to choose from.

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Having worked in advertising before, I knew what they meant when they described Evident’s encryption as “bank grade”. It sounds impressive but it’s basically just an advertising label for encryption and banks have been hacked a lot too.

Here are a list of companies who have had data breaches, including banks: List of data breaches - Wikipedia

Notable names in that list include:

  • Bank of America
  • Apple
  • Ebay
  • Equifax (a credit check agency similar to what Evident are)
  • JP Morgan Bank
  • Microsoft
  • NASDAQ
  • The State of Texas
  • TD Bank
  • UK Tax Office
  • The Pentagon
  • The US Army

The fact is, identity theft is big money and that’s how these data breaches happen. Given the list of data breaches that already occurred, it feels risky to do this.

Honestly, the safest way to prove your ID to a HO (and I’ve never had a HO actually ask me yet) is to show them your passport in person. No middle man is needed. Those who arrive in a car have already identified themselves anyway from the number plates.

While I haven’t submitted my details, I’ve read others on this forum saying they only did so very reluctantly. If a data breach happens (and it only needs to happen once), I’d feel so sorry for those who didn’t even really want to do this but felt pressured into complying.

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I agree there’s always some kind of risk, but in this day and age, it’s almost impossible to avoid doing things online. Do you not do online banking, shop online, access health records online, fill out and submit your taxes online etc? If not, then I guess you’re ultra-safe (unless someone steals your wallet/purse), but most people do at least some of those things.

And in my opinion, sharing my driver’s licence on Evident was probably one of the less risky things I’ve done.

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I think one of the ideas behind ID verification is to give peace of mind to home owners that all THS sitters have been verified, before we even apply for sits.

@Kelownagurl, are you now “fully verified” just using your drivers licence? Or are you expecting another verification process (SIN) once THS’s new requirements extend beyond US borders?
Mary (fellow Canuck)

I am so shocked to hear about these various being hacked. Safest way is to keep you SSN and these other numbers very private and just get a passport or govt id.In some US states at least, you are not required to give it to private entities so you really have to do your homework

Well you’re certainly more confident about it than me. This is a website where people were selling the hacked data for crooks to do goodness knows what with it. The site recently got seized but it had been going for about 7 years and another will take it’s place no doubt.

Things like shopping online is actually safer than this ID mandate because it’s a choice to buy on Ebay or go to the local shops instead. If on Ebay, you again choose between giving only a credit card number and surname, or you have the option to send payment by postal order. You can then choose to deliver to your house or take delivery to a central pick up centre. The banks even reimburse you if your card number was stolen. But these Evident checks will take our full name, our face (facial recognition), government ID numbers, and our home address if using drivers licence all in one database, which for a hacker provides much more focussed info about us than online shopping.

I looked up Evident ID on the BBB and they apparently have only a 1* out of 5 rating. They don’t seem on top of their game!

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Correct that’s the idea. The thing is any HOs who wanted this had already access to it in just a click of a mouse to filter by verification level. There is no increased assurance to HOs who wanted this feature, but there is increased risk to the sitters being mandated to do this.

I make the point again that a 3rd party company confirming I’m Jo from England won’t prove we won’t drink all the HO’s wine or forget to give the cat her meds. Reviews do that - Real Home Owners from previous house sits giving heartfelt descriptions of how happy their pets were, how many pictures and videos we sent them throughout, and how tidy their home was when they returned. Reviews are the best proof possible. ID checks don’t prove any of that, they just chase away highly reviewed sitters at a time there is a sitter shortage on this site.

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Yes, I am fully verified and also we had a criminal record check. We joined in 2017 and did the criminal record check about a year later I think.

At this point, I’m not expecting another verification process but honestly, I’m not too worried if I’m asked to so long as the company is a reputable one.

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That’s was based on a single review. Not particularly useful.

Obviously, you feel strongly about it, so I guess you shouldn’t join. It’s your choice.

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It’s actually based on 3 reviews, not one. Imagine a house sitter having 3 reviews so far and they all scored 1* out of 5 - How many HOs would trust them to house sit? Probably none! So we too should think twice about trusting companies like Evident with our details.

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Like I said, you always have the option to move to another housesitting website if you are uncomfortable with providing proof of ID on this platform.

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I am also upset by the new requirements as my technology equipment is not up to the task they have created. It took me over 25 hours of working to get it done. i have done THS for about 7 years and really think my experience counts more than background checks.

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I used to live in the USA and I know how much personal info gets bought and sold over there and it’s hard to even get these sites that have your info shut down or get your profile shut down! I was never on the US electoral role or anything like that but recently I googled myself and this website called NUWBER had all my info, it was scary!

https://nuwber.com

I suggest anyone in the USA take a look to see if they are on it too!

This is why I won’t use US companies like evIDent.

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