Whistelblower, anonymity and privacy: Wikileaks for HR

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Wikileaks - the topic can not be killed. This is by no means only a political but also an economic topic - and as such it is of particular interest to the personnel departments of companies.

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

Jochen Mai and Klaus Eck, for example, raised the question of how Company can react to the illogy of employees.

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Next to that is another question - and that does not just apply to Wikileaks: who takes responsibility when something goes wrong?

War for wiki leaks


This week, this 45-minute discussion "world power WikiLeaks? War in the Net ", which is now also available at vimeo (see video above). Yesterday at the Humboldt University in Berlin the SPIEGEL-Forum with the topic "Public Enemy Wikileaks - How Julian Assange challenges politics and media", which Markus Beckedahl accompanied live-blogging.

The computer scientist Daniel Domscheidt-Berg, who helped build Wikileaks and then left, will bring his revelation book this week Inside WikiLeaks: My time on the most dangerous website in the world , which Spiegel Online has extensively criticized.

On Tuesday I have Domscheidt mountain experienced personally at an event organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, In addition to the linked text, there is also a recording of the event at You Tube.

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Openleaks: mailbox concept without responsibility


Domscheidt-Bergs concept for the new leaking platform Openleaks, which he wants to offer in the near future, I found it inconclusive: Because unlike Wikileaks on Openleaks never even a leak will be published.

Rather, the whistleblower can decide for himself which of the editors, organization or person affiliated with Openleaks should be leaked the material. The responsibility for editing and publishing lies entirely with the editors - and thus the legal consequences have to be borne by them.

One is the stupid!


Openleaks, on the other hand, is completely out of responsibility - pointing out that one person alone can not decide where personal rights would be violated and what information will be published - and which not. That's true on the one hand, on the other hand, but on the other hand, a little cowardly and comfortable.

The fierce discussions which then came to exactly this point shows how explosive the question of the person responsible for such a topic is. Or exaggeratedly said: no one wants it to have been in the end. But, and that's the problem with the whole thing: One has to take over the unsightly task.

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A size smaller


By the way, the whole is also a few numbers smaller: The employer evaluation platform kununu is ultimately nothing more than a small Whistelblower platform: for if employers are judged objectively and differentiated, the employees do nothing but disclose business secrets.

One difference might be that the statements of the employees are not documented here by documents. That's exactly the point of criticism often practiced on kununu, that in principle anyone can practice revenge on their boss, without that being able to be checked - even if kununu promises controls.

Whistelblowing for openness and transparency


In doing so, I find the idea that employees can openly say what they think about their employer (which is seldom enough anyway!) Really good. Yesterday I wrote that and I think it's good that employees in spe also have such insight into potential companies as well.

Sure, there is a risk of wild company basing, the fake positve (by the company itself) as negative (eg from the competition) reviews, because you just can not even check whether an employee really works there. But there is also really a chance for more transparency and openness, to which companies are forced.

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Knackpunkt Anonymity


However, and there you are back soon at Wikileaks, of course, the anonymity in such rating platforms is a big sticking point: Although kununu guaranteed full anonymity, but still wants the eMailAddress. The participation in kununu is absolutely anonymous and the protection of your data is one of our highest principles! All reviews appear only with a date on. The registration data serve only the prevention of misuse or the (voluntarily chosen) sending of a newsletter as well as the access to the own evaluation portal. When I look at what's going on at Wikileaks and Openleaks to give users full anonymity without traceability, I'm a little scared - and I'm not really a privacy fanatic. I'm just thinking of how easy Stefan Niggemeier was to identify Konstantin Neven Dumont as an anonymous commentator.

Questions, questions


In view of this, the protection that kununu offers its users seems a bit poor. Surely it's not as bad as venting your anger on Facebook or Twitter - but .... Maybe somebody might enlighten me about the anonymity and the privacy really?

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  1. PC Blog

    It has already become strangely quiet around Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Of course, it could also be that deals have expired in the background. Financial means, impunity in the history of rape, a certain status, as only countries can lend, who knows? After all, it is striking that after the initial global hype, which was unparalleled, now tends to zero. Greetings from Berlin

  2. Martin Poreda

    Hello Mrs. Janson,

    I am glad that you basically support the idea of ​​an employer rating.

    As you write correctly, companies recognize the opportunity behind employer reviews (yet) and focus on the adverse aspects of online reviews.

    However, in contrast to hotels or book authors, it is very easy for companies to provide a representative image - a circular mail to all employees reflects the reality of the company ....

    In my experience, especially those companies and HR departments are particularly reluctant to review ratings if they actually have "dirt on the line" or do not want to see shortcomings in HR policy and leadership come to light.

    Our visitors appreciate the kununu, that you do not just find beautiful colors - but this also includes a good portion of criticism.

    Incidentally, we do not take companies that do not take us seriously seriously, but rather consult those who have already recognized the importance of employees as corporate ambassadors, online reputation management, and the popularity of rating platforms among job seekers.

    Best regards,

    Martin Poreda

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Poreda,
      I agree with you, often the companies are against transparency, which have something to hide - is also somehow logical ;-) That the sustainable opportunities of social media communication are often not recognized and instead switched to the quick benefits or rather the negative looks - I've just written a blog post That then also takes little communication with the employee, it seems only logical.

  3. Simone Janson

    Interesting discussion m. @ Kununu_BRA_BOYS Martin Poreda: #kununu as #wikileaks f.employer o.nicht? Discuss with!

  4. Simone Janson

    Hello Mr. Poreda,
    Thanks for the prompt comment including link to the explanatory blog post. But I'm not completely convinced: Maybe it will not be a financial loss if one or the other does not apply.
    However, some ladies and gentlemen involved in personnel marketing would now object that such negative assessments could fundamentally harm the employer's brand - and the matter is quite economic.
    Otherwise, this would then have to be reckoned with corresponding consequences for the evaluator.

    So far, however, it seems to me that companies are not really taking such valuation platforms seriously and are dismissing them as aimless employer bashing - by the way, not only kununu, but also similar valuation platforms.

    On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that such a negative rating can easily be dismissed as an act of revenge on the Internet, but also because it is not to be feared that economic damage will occur.
    The potential for a positive change is given away.

    I still like the basic idea of ​​allowing a look behind the scenes.

    Simone Janson

  5. Martin Poreda

    Hello Mrs. Janson,

    Thank you for this interesting article. I am happy to dispel your concerns. Preliminary - kununu clearly distances itself from the Wikileaks philosophy - I commented on this in a blog post some time ago:

    For your anonymity / privacy concerns. kununu is not a new offer on the web and proves for over 3,5 years a responsible use of the (few) data that we demand from our reviewers to prevent misuse of our platform. We are constantly investing time and money in data security and an externally visible characteristic of this is that ratings are given, for example, encrypted (https: //). (by the way, we are the only platform of our kind that offers that).

    The responsible handling of the topic of employer evaluation, both in the direction of the user and the "affected = company", is repeatedly certified by various sources since the launch of kununu in 2007.

    The trust of our visitors in kununu and the protection of the evaluators is our priority and has always been lived by us. Therefore, there has never been, and will continue to be, no misuse of the data of kununu users.

    I would be glad to answer further questions.

    Best regards sends

    Martin Poreda / co-founder / kununu.com

  6. Holger Froese

    Whistelblower, anonymity & privacy: Wikileaks for HR #Business
    Commented on Twitter

  7. Simone Janson

    Whistelblower, Anonymity & Privacy: Wikileaks for Personnel

  8. Competencepartner

    Whistelblower, Anonymität & Datenschutz: WikiLeaks for HR: That could interest you too ...

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