A Whistleblower and a leaker are terms that often get misunderstood and sometimes get interchangeably used. Yet, these both have some unique traits and outcomes. Both the words are somewhat connected to the leaking of some information. Yet, the difference between their two terms ties depends on the kind of data that has been disclosed.
Whistleblower vs Leaker
The main difference between a whistleblower and a leaker is that a whistleblower always tends to do the right thing and try to correct the wrong thing and follow some particular sets of commands before releasing anything to the public whereas a leaker does not follow any set of rules and directly provides all the information to the other party or the people.
A whistleblower is referred to a person who can be a working employee of an organization or an agent of the government, who discloses all the data to the crowd or the higher authorities regarding any incorrect circumstances, that can cause harm or become a fraud or corruption, etc.
A leaker is referred to as a person who does not have any rights over the data of a company but still leaks or provides to the public or other organizations. These kinds of people do not follow any rules or commands before letting all the information which is kept as a secret out in the public.
Comparison Table Between Whistleblower and Leaker
|Parameters of Comparison||Whistleblower||Leaker|
|Definition||A Whistleblower is referred to an office employee or government agent who discloses the data to the higher authority to right the wrong.||A leaker is a person who does not have any right over the data of a company but still provides it to the public and other organizations.|
|Rewards||A Whistleblower is rewarded officially with some monetary.||Leakers do not gain any rewards|
|Protection||Whistleblower is protected by some specific laws.||A leaker does not get any kind of protection.|
|What they do||A Whistleblower always makes the wrong thing right by disclosing some data to a third party.||A leaker leaks the data to gain the attention of the public.|
|How it’s done||It is done legally.||It is an illegal act.|
What is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is usually an employee of a company who discloses the data or the activity which is happening inside the organization which can turn out to be illegal, fraud, or unsafe for the company. About 83% of the whistle-blower reports all the data internally to their supervisor or head, HR, or to the third party inside the company, with the vision to get the issue addressed and fixed.
And for external purposes, a whistleblower turns to a third party such as media houses or the government to bring light on the issues and put allegations on the wrongdoings of a company and organizations. For protecting the whistleblowers legally, the laws vary from place to place and depend on the nation and the activity that has happened. It also depends on the fact that how the data was disclosed.
The life and job of a whistleblower are always at a risk from the people and organization whom they are exposing. For security purposes, they now use encryption methods to anonymously share the data with the protection of their identity. Tor is a highly accessible anonymous network that is frequently used by whistleblowers across the globe. This network has undergone many security updates for the protection of the identity of whistle-blowers who are the potential to leak information anonymously.
What is a Leaker?
A leaker is a person who does not have any right over information or the data of a particular company or organization but still chooses to disclose all the data about the company to a third party. The leakers leak this information to gain public or political attention. Unlike a whistleblower, the leakers are not protected by any laws or rules as the act of leaking the information with any bad intentions is considered to be an illegal act.
A leaker has no set of rules and does not follow any certain chain of command as there is no supervisor involved with them. They don’t have any kind of restrictions for doing their work and they can leak any information they want. A person is classified as a leaker only if the data that he or she has disclosed is considered to be a secret to embarrass or harm the other. These people have the potential to bring more bad news than good ones to the company.
Media houses are also considered as leakers as they publish articles or broadcast some secrets about some particular individual or a company to gain TRP and the attention of their audiences. They do follow some chain of command before releasing anything but their intentions are sole to gain public attention.
Main Differences Between Whistleblower and Leaker
- The whistleblower is considered to be a legal act while leaking is illegal.
- Some specific laws are made to protect a whistleblower, but there are no such laws for leakers.
- A whistleblower always tries to correct wrongdoings and follows a specific chain of commands before disclosing anything to the public whereas a leaker does not follow any commands and offers the data without following any rule.
- A whistleblower is a person who reports any misconduct of the organization whereas a leaker discloses the secret of the company to gain attention.
- A whistleblower is rewarded with some acclaimed wages and benefits whereas the leaker gets nothing.
In conclusion, whistleblowers and leakers are somehow the same as their job is to disclose the data to the other party or the public. The only difference among these two is that a whistleblower has good intentions and try to do the right thing to correct the wrong by giving out information while on the other hand, a leaker’s sole purpose is to harm or embarrass the other party by disclosing their secret publicly to gain attention.
Leakers do not get any rewards in return for doing so and their doings are considered to be illegal whereas whistleblowers’ job is considered to be a legal act as no bad intentions are involved. Whistleblowers are rewarded with certain monetary and their identities are protected from the people they are releasing secrets about.