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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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


War for wiki leaks

This week the ARD hosted this 45-minute discussion “Weltmacht WikiLeaks? War on the Net ”, which is now also available at vimeo (see video above). That happened yesterday at the Humboldt University in Berlin SPIEGEL-Forum with the topic “Public enemy Wikileaks - How Julian Assange challenges politics and the media” took place, which Markus Beckedahl accompanied live blogging.

Computer scientist Daniel Domscheidt-Berg, who helped set up Wikileaks and then left it, is bringing out his disclosure book “Inside WikiLeaks: My time on the world's most dangerous website” this week Spiegel Has criticized extensively online.

Who takes responsibility?

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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Jochen Mai and Klaus Eck, for example, raised the question of how Company can respond to employee disloyalty. There is also another question - and that doesn't just apply to Wikileaks: who takes responsibility if something goes wrong?

Openleaks: mailbox concept without responsibility

I found Domscheidt-Bergs' concept for the new leaking platform Openleaks, which he plans to offer shortly, inconclusive: unlike Wikileaks, a leak should never be published on Openleaks itself.

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 heated discussions that then arose on this very point, shows how explosive the question of who is responsible for such a topic is. Or to put it bluntly: Nobody wants it to be in the end. But, and that is the problem with the whole thing: someone has to take on the unpleasant 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 bashing, fake positive (from the company) as well as negative (e.g. from the competition) reviews, because you can't even check whether an employee is really working there. But there is also a real opportunity for more transparency and openness, which companies are forced to do.

Knackpunkt Anonymity

However, and you can quickly get back to Wikileaks, anonymity is of course a big sticking point with such rating platforms: Although kununu guarantees full anonymity, it still wants it eMailAddress.

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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 little poor. Certainly it's not as bad as showing your anger at Facebook or Twitter made public air - but…. Perhaps someone would like to explain to me how things are really about anonymity and data protection?

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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.

    In contrast to hotels or book authors, however, it is very easy for companies to provide a representative image - a circular mail to all employees depicts the company's reality ....

    In my experience, it is above all those companies and HR departments who are particularly reluctant to give evaluations when they actually have “dirty work” or do not want deficiencies in personnel policy and management to come to light.

    What our visitors appreciate about kununu is that they don't just find whitewashing - but that also includes a good deal 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, it is often precisely the companies that oppose transparency that have something to hide - that's kind of logical ;-) That the sustainable opportunities of social media communication are often not recognized and people instead look for quick benefits or rather see the negative - I just wrote a blog post about that. That there is little communication with the employee 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 reviews could fundamentally damage the employer brand - and the matter therefore has economic implications.
    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 rating platforms seriously and are dismissing them as aimless employer bashing - by the way, this not only affects kununu, but also similar rating 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. First of all - 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).

    Since kununu started in 2007, various sources have repeatedly attested to the responsible handling of the topic of employer evaluation, both in the direction of users and “Affected persons = companies”.

    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 & data protection: Wikileaks for HR #Business
    Commented on Twitter

  7. Simone Janson

    Whistelblower, anonymity & data protection: Wikileaks for HR professionals

  8. Competencepartner

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