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23 Mar 2021


France: Ikea on trial over allegations of spying on staff

"Ikea goes on trial in France accused of spying on staff", 22 Mar 2021

Ikea’s French subsidiary has gone on trial accused of running an elaborate system to spy on staff and job applicants using private detectives and police officers.

Ikea France, as a corporate entity, is being prosecuted in a court in Versailles, as well as several of its former executives who could face prison terms.

The investigative publications Le Canard Enchaîné and Mediapart uncovered the surveillance scheme in 2012, and magistrates began investigating after the Force Ouvrière union lodged a legal complaint.

Prosecutors say Ikea France set up a “spying system” across its French operations, collecting information about the private lives of hundreds of existing and prospective staff, including confidential information about criminal records...

The charges include illegal gathering of personal information, receiving illegally-gathered personal information, and violating professional confidentiality, some of which carry a maximum prison term of 10 years...

Emmanuel Daoud, a lawyer for Ikea France, acknowledged that the case had revealed “organisational weaknesses”. He said the company had since implemented an action plan, including a complete revamp of hiring procedures...