Legal requirements for the whistleblowing systems
The EU Whistleblower Directive requires companies with 50 or more employees and legal entities in the public sector to provide channels and procedures for internal reporting. These internal reporting channels must in particular preserve the confidentiality of the identity of the whistleblower and third parties mentioned in the report.
According to the Directive, the reporting channels must allow reporting in written or oral form. Oral reports must be possible by telephone or by means of another form of voice transmission. Recital 53 of the Whistleblower Directive explicitly mentions online platform or a telephone hotline as possible reporting channels.
Digital whistleblowing systems offer the most advantages
Digital whistleblower systems have the advantage that they are very good at preserving the confidentiality and anonymity of the whistleblowers. The whistleblower's data is not stored in the company or authority, but with an external provider. This allows authorization concepts to be implemented in a targeted manner. This enables authorized persons, such as the company's or authority's compliance officers, to access the incoming cases. In addition, whistleblower systems, such as Hintbox, offer end-to-end encryption. This ensures a high level of data privacy and data security. In addition, the compliance officer and also anonymous whistleblowers can communicate mutually with each other in encrypted form via digital whistleblower systems. Companies can therefore use this reporting channel in particular to make inquiries in order to obtain further useful information for a case.
Advantage of digital whistleblower hotlines (VoiceBot)
Digital whistleblower hotlines offer advantages for companies and authorities as an additional internal reporting channel. Employees or business partners in particular can submit their reports quickly and easily with a phone call. Such digital whistleblower hotlines, like the Hintbox, are available 24/7. The Hintbox phone lines are offered through a VoiceBot, so whistleblowers have the ability to submit tips at any time and from anywhere in the world. Such reports are then integrated into the Hintbox dashboard, ensuring that follow-up actions are handled in compliance with data protection and policy. This is a key advantage over taking cases analogously via telephone hotlines.
Advantages and disadvantages of e-mail
The submission of reports via "classic" e-mails generally entails considerable disadvantages. If the company offers its employees an e-mail address as a reporting channel, there is a particular risk of a lack of confidentiality. This is because the company's internal IT, such as administrators, basically has the possibility of reading such e-mails.
However, the situation is different if such e-mail addresses are also provided by an external whistleblower system provider and such e-mails are integrated into the whistleblower system. Then there is no risk to the confidentiality of the whistleblowers because only authorized persons can access messages.
Offer 3 message channels with one hintbox
With our Hintbox, companies and authorities have the possibility to offer up to 3 communication channels: Via the digital reporting channel, whistleblowers can also submit reports anonymously at any time. Via a digital whistleblower hotline with a VoiceBot, whistleblowers receive another simple reporting procedure. The incoming cases of this whistleblower hotline are automatically integrated as a case into the Hintbox dashboard, so that a DSGVO-compliant further processing of this data can take place. The same applies with emails (e.g. "email@example.com") provided by Hintbox. These emails are also integrated into the Hintbox case management system as a new case.