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Index – Abroad – The French IKEA was spying on its employees and even its customers.

IKEA in France has been accused of illegally collecting information about its own employees. According to the government, the company was illegally acquired, transferred and used Confidential information of hundreds of people. The case, which began in Versailles, will investigate the responsibilities of former corporate management and police officers – 15 in total – We wrote The other day.

Background of unprecedented case

Between 2009 and 2012, the French IKEA commissioned an investigative agency to collect confidential information, primarily about unionized workers, union leaders, and clients who complained about a defect.

Attempts were made to find out if any of the suspects were on a criminal record, but they were not prevented from accessing confidential banking information. For example, on one occasion, they were commissioned to search the criminal records of an employee who drove the militancy of an employee who drove a good BMW, writes D.W..

One of the former, exemplary employees was spied on for joining the protesting union members.

On the other hand, union activist Hossain Redoune was suspected of bank robbery because, according to a criminal record obtained with the help of the police, a person with that name was actually a robber. However, it was later revealed that this was an unfortunate sign.

On the first day of the trial, Retune, who was questioned as a witness by the court, asked himself, “This organization could easily be harassed.”

The main defendant in the case was Jean-Franசois Paris, director of risk management, who issued an order naming the targeted individuals in emails sent to his designated intelligence office to investigate their financial background. He testified that he transferred 530 to 630 thousand euros a year to the investigating office.

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The accused

The case was started by two unions.

In addition to Paris, former French IKEA CEO Stephen Vanauerbeck, his predecessor Jean-Louis Baylot, several store managers, as well as four police officers, have leaked data from the state register. The case is being investigated by Le Conard Enchane (The Chain Duck) and The Mediapart Where did the emails of IKEA’s illegal order go.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the practice of illegal data collection may have begun in the early 2000s. IKEA France’s business strategy is denied by the company’s lawyers as “public espionage”. The company said in a statement that it “protects its employees” and “takes customer data management” very seriously.

Four top corporate executives have already been fired in connection with the scandal.

The Swedish parent company has withdrawn from practice in France. According to the indictment, the defendants, among others, tried to obtain information illegally, collect illegally obtained data and violate confidentiality.

France’s IKEA could face fines of up to $ 3.75 million, and the two former CEOs could face fines of up to $ 750,000 each. The maximum sentence for 15 defendants is 10 years imprisonment. Judgment is expected on April 2.

(Cover: IKEA in Toulouse, November 28, 2013. Photo: Remy Cabalda / AFP)