Confidential vs. anonymous reporting

Misconduct can be reported both confidentially and anonymously, but these terms are often confused.

In the case of a confidential report, the whistleblower provides their name, but wishes that it not be disclosed during the investigation of the case without their consent. Confidential reporting ensures the opportunity to contact the whistleblower to clarify the circumstances or provide feedback, and the organization must do everything possible to ensure the promised confidentiality to the whistleblower.

In the case of anonymous reporting, the identity of the whistleblower is not known, which makes it difficult to clarify the circumstances of misconduct. In the case of anonymous reports, it is usually not possible to contact the whistleblower later to clarify circumstances or provide feedback.

Regardless of whether you report confidentially or anonymously within your organization, your identity may become known to others because you may be identified by the nature of the information you share.