Ethics Line Confidentiality
Q. It is my understanding that any report I send from a company computer generates a server log that shows every website that my PC connects with, and won’t this log identify me as a report originator?
EthicsPoint does not generate or maintain any internal connection logs with IP addresses, so no information linking your PC to EthicsPoint is available. With fewer than 12% of reports generated during business hours, most people prefer to report from the comfort of their home after hours and on the weekend.
Q. Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
A report from home, a neighbor’s computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the EthicsPoint system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, EthicsPoint is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter’s identity.
Q. I am concerned that the information I provide EthicsPoint will ultimately reveal my identity. How can you assure me that will not happen?
The EthicsPoint system is designed to protect your anonymity. However, you as a reporting party need to ensure that the body of the report does not reveal your identity by accident, for example, “From my cube next to Jan Smith…” or “In my 33 years…”
Q: Isn’t this system just an example of someone watching over me?
The EthicsPoint system concentrates on being a positive aspect of our overall philosophy, and allows us to assure a safe, secure, and ethical workplace. You are encouraged to seek guidance on ethical dilemmas, provide positive suggestions, or communicate a concern. Effective communication is critical in today’s workplace and this is a great tool to enhance that communication.
We have carefully chosen the best reporting tool to meet our compliance obligations while maintaining a positive reporting environment.
Q. Where do these reports go? Who can access them?
Reports are entered directly on the EthicsPoint secure server to prevent any possible breech in security. EthicsPoint makes these reports available only to specific individuals within the company who are charged with evaluating the type of violation and location of the incident. Each of these report recipients has had training in keeping these reports in the utmost confidence. Reporting process flowchart (PDF)
Q. What if my boss or other managers are involved in a violation? Won’t they get the report and start a cover-up?
The EthicsPoint system and report distribution are designed so that implicated parties are not notified or granted access to reports they have been named in.
Q. Are these follow-ups on reports as secure as the first one?
All EthicsPoint correspondences are held in the same strict confidence as the initial report, continuing under the umbrella of anonymity.
Q. What if I want to be identified with my report?
There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.
Q. Is the telephone toll-free hotline confidential and anonymous too?
Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the EthicsPoint website. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.