Ikea fined €1m and found guilty of illegally spying on staff


Ikea has been found guilty of illegally spying on its employees over a number of years and has been fined €1 million by a Frech Court.

The world’s largest furniture maker was today found guilty of storing employee data that it obtained improperly, while its former chief executive Jean-Louis Baillot was handed a two-year sentence and fined €50,000.

In March this year, it was reported that the French subsidiary of Ikea, which employs over 10,000 staff in the country, is facing fines of up to €3.75 million (£3.2 million) over allegations it paid for illegal access to police files.

Ikea France was accused of buying information from Frances STIC police records system, which tracks names and personal information on millions of criminals, victims and witnesses.

READ MORE: Ikea ex-CEOs face up to 10 years in prison over allegations they illegally spied on employees and customers

It reportedly accessed this information illegally from police officials, four of which also faced allegations, to try and catch an employee who was claiming unemployment benefits but drove a Porche.

Ikea is also accused of accessing an employee’s criminal record to determine how they could afford to drive a BMW on low income.

It has also been accused of spying on customers during the case, while a number of store managers, employees in human resources, private investigators and police officers were also facing allegations.

Prosecutors had been pushing for a more severe fine, aiming for at least €2 million.

Its former chief executives Baillot and Stefan Vanoverbeke also faced potential fines of €750,000 and sentences of up to 10 years for their involvement.

“Ikea Retail France has strongly condemned the practices, apologized and implemented a major action plan to prevent this from happening again,” the company said.

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