We take a look at the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for whistleblowing systems.
Internal Structure – Privacy by Design
GDPR challenges organizations’ internal information security structures with the aim of protecting personal data and complying with data privacy requirements. This requires the implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures (Article 23) in order to meet these enhanced requirements. This includes limiting access to personal data, new specifications on data storage, the appointment of a Data Protection Officer, and the encryption of any personal data transactions.
A whistleblowing system must respect the principles of privacy and security to gain a potential reporter’s trust and ensure confidentiality. The use of encryption technology, granular permission management, and measures to assure a reporter’s anonymity are integral requirements of a compliant whistleblowing system.
The management of whistleblowing cases requires an appropriate corporate culture which reflects the organization’s intention to handle personal data and whistleblowing reports confidentially and with the utmost security.
The implementation of GDPR may seem like a lot of work, particularly for smaller and mid-sized companies. However, when looking at creating a culture of organizational transparency, security, and trust, is an undertaking that is well worth it. Whistleblowers will feel more secure knowing their data is protected and under stricter regulation. GDPR is an important step in creating a new generation of data regulations and initiatives across Europe, and hopefully, globally.