IKEA Fined $1.2M For Spying On Staff
IKEA is set to pay a €1 million fine for illegally spying on its French employees.
Many people like to separate their personal lives from work, but IKEA stores in France have been found guilty of breaching this division by collecting data on employees unethically.
The French branch of the furniture retailer was found guilty of spying on its employee’s personal information over the course of several years.
IKEA Retail France has been found guilty of reviewing the bank accounts of employees and writing up fake reports against staff by using fictional employee statements. On the back of these invasions of privacy, prosecutors had been attempting to fine the parent company of IKEA, Ingka Group, €2 million. The ruling on the case has now fined the company €1 million.
In response, IKEA has taken measures to stop its invasive surveillance in stores and is said to be reviewing the court’s decision before it decides on any further action. At the moment, the company has yet to outline exactly what this action may be. Nonetheless, the company has said it will make significant changes.
As per Reuters, IKEA Retail France also offered an apology to those it had wronged:
IKEA Retail France has strongly condemned the practices, apologised and implemented a major action plan to prevent this from happening again.
Although IKEA has offered this apology, the company has denied setting up a widespread espionage system that monitored its employees.
On top of the stores facing action, high-ranking individuals have also seen charges for their practices. The former chief executive in France, Jean-Louis Baillot, was found guilty of enabling illegal surveillance practices between 2009 and 2012. As a result, Baillot has received a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of €50,000.
Despite the focus on a three-year period, in this case, the retailer has been accused of using illegal surveillance techniques since the early 2000s. On the back of this, there are multiple store managers, human resources employees and police officers facing further investigation.
This isn’t the first time IKEA has crossed legal lines in its surveillance of people. In 2012, the company faced action because it was spying on its employees and even customers. After this came to light, managers and internal staff were fired while the internal policy was changed in an effort to rectify the issue.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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