Final Report

The Expanding Anonymous Tipping (EAT) Project was set up with the aim of extending the user base for secure
online dropboxes, particularly among private enterprises and public institutions within 11 southern and eastern
European Member States. Nine partner organisations were involved in the Project, which ran from January 2018
to January 2021.

On-the-ground work in those 11 EU Member States produced valuable insights into the factors that lead to
organisations adopting secure online dropboxes as a route for public submissions or as part of their own internal
compliance mechanisms. A second key element of the project was to expand the knowledge base around
dropboxes and how they are used in practice. The final report explains the background to the project and what
was achieved over the course of those two years.

The full report can be downloaded in English and Spanish.

Key Findings

  • Dropboxes produce more whistleblower reports overall. Organisations that promote their dropboxes and respond to reports promptly get the best results.
  • Public institutions that have implemented secure online dropboxes value them. The ability to have ongoing communication with a whistleblower is an important feature.
  • Organisations often prefer to wait for national legal obligations to come into force before adopting whistleblowing systems.
  • Many organisations will want detailed guidance on governance and other issues when those national whistleblowing laws come in to force.
  • Dropboxes on their own are not a sufficient guarantee of anonymity. Getting administrative structure behind the dropbox right is important.
  • Dropbox operators should be prepared for users to opt for the least secure method of accessing a dropbox, even if they want to be anonymous.
  • Organisations are starting to release quantitative data about dropbox use. These metrics should be reported using differential privacy techniques, in order to protect whistleblowers’ identities.