WikiLeaks really started something when it achieved world fame last year. We’ve already seen BrusselsLeaks and OpenLeaks emerge in its wake and now OfficeLeaks has opened its doors to provide a home for workplace whistleblowers.
In actual fact, the site is more like a cross between WikiLeaks and customer support site Get Satisfaction. Pages are set up for individual employers and genuine employees can then leave anonymous rants about all that irks them about their bosses.
As yet, the slick-looking site which launched this week is yet to receive any genuine leaks. One of the site’s founders, based in an undisclosed part of the US and going by the name of “Ryan M”, believes that all it will take is one brave soul to post a grievance to get the ball rolling.
“The posts so far just seem to be in the ‘Is this for real?’ category – which is understandable, this is a sensitive subject and we have to build up a trust level with the our users,” Ryan says. “So far though we see every user that joins inviting around 4 to 5 others. People are hitting their organization pages regularly too.”
The site validates employees as genuine using their company email addresses but says it cannot identify idividuals. The site’s Privacy page notes: “Technically we have done everything we can to protect you. We cannot identify you, and we never ask for personal information. As we mentioned, the confirmation email used to verify you is not kept, not even for a second. The data we do store (to be user-friendly) can be erased at any time and is encrypted by a password only you know. Finally, once you login all traffic sent between us and you is encrypted. It works just like online banking, so middlemen cannot snoop.”
Additionally, the site sends account confirmation emails as if another employee has invited you, even if you signed up yourself. “It comes down to trust, we take our user’s privacy and anonymity seriously,” says Ryan. “Some feedback we have gotten is skeptical that we really don’t know who they are. The reality is we do not and that is really center of our business.”
OfficeLeaks plans to monetise in a similar way to Get Satisfaction, by hosting officially sanctioned forums in which businesses can hear what their employees really think of them. “The goal here is not just to have a negative forum, but an honest one that gets results. You need the organizations on board for that to happen,” says Ryan.