Deepali Kalia –
A French Court on June 15th fined Ikea 1 million euros ($1.2 million) for spying on its French staff.
The world’s biggest furniture retailer was found guilty of snooping and incongruously collecting and storing data on its employees.
Ingka group’s French branch which owns most Ikea stores around the world was accused of spying on its employees and even some clients over several years.
There were accusations of breach of employee’s privacy by reviewing their bank account records and even utilizing fake employees to write reports on staff.
Worker representatives alleged that the firm gathered data on people, from the information about their finances to even which car they drove; all was collected and then used to target union leaders or to gain advantage in disputes with customers.
It was claimed that the firm also paid to gain access to police files.
The Prosecutors welcomed the outcome even though they had pushed for a 2 million euro fine.
“Ikea Retail France has strongly condemned the practices, apologized and implemented a major action plan to prevent this from happening again.” the Ingka group said.
The company stated that it was reviewing the Court’s verdict in order to find out if other measures would be necessary as it has already undertaken steps to curb such improper surveillance tactics.