Ikea has to pay a fine of 1 million euros in France, in part because it spied on its employees. The French branch of the furniture group was found guilty of improper use of personal data. Former director Jean-Louis Bailo was also given a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros.
The French judiciary has accused Ikea of running a “spy system” in its branches in the country. For example, private investigators and police officers are said to have been involved in collecting private information on employees and job applicants. The agents are also said to have passed on confidential information to the company. Sometimes fake employees were used to prepare employee reports.
Environmental terrorism and BMW
The case appeared in the French investigative journal in early 2012. tied duck. According to the satirical weekly, the company’s management has set up a system to monitor some employees. Court documents earlier showed that the bureau spent 600,000 euros a year on private investigators.
An email from a risk manager at IKEA France stated that one of the affected workers “was always a model worker but suddenly started protesting”. How did this change happen? Is there environmental terrorism? Another example is an employee who bought himself a new BMW convertible, thus raising suspicion.
The French judiciary demanded a fine of two million euros, more than half the maximum fine allowed by French law. In addition, a prison sentence was requested for the former director.
Stéphane Vanoverbeck, the former Belgian CEO who led Ikea France for Baillot, described spying as “isolated cases” rather than “IKEA policy”. He himself said he was “shocked” by the methods used.