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The French subsidiary of Ikea has been fined €1 million (£860k) and a former CEO has received a suspended prison sentence for spying on as many as 400 staff.
The world’s biggest furniture chain used private detectives and police officers to collect private information on staff, job applicants, union representatives and some customers. The court focused on the period between 2009 and 2012 but the illegal activity is understood to have stretched back to cover the previous decade.
Satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné and investigative journal Mediapart revealed the elaborate surveillance operation in 2012 after which legal action was brought against Ikea by Force Ouvrière, one of France’s main union groups.
Unions accused Ikea of fraudulently collecting personal data, most notably via illegally obtained police files, and illicitly disclosing personal information.
A court in Versailles today ordered Ikea to pay a €1 million fine, but also gave Jean-Louis Baillot, former CEO of Ikea France, a two-year suspended jail term and a fine of €50,000.
Ikea’s former head of risk management Jean-Francois Paris, who was accused of being at the heart of t