Furniture giant Ikea accused of spying in France
IKEA France and several of its executives are on trial Monday for illegal spying on employees and customers.
The unions submitted reports about the furniture and housewares company to French authorities in 2012, accusing it of collecting personal data through fraudulent means and illegally disclosing personal information.
The unions claimed that IKEA France had paid for access to police files containing information on the targeted individuals.
In contrast, the company denied spying on anyone but fired four executives in France after French prosecutors opened a criminal investigation in 2012.
One of the charges stated that IKEA France had used unauthorized data to try to stop an employee who was claiming unemployment benefits but driving a Porsche.
Another says the branch investigated an employee’s criminal record to determine how the employee was able to own a BMW. On a low income.
It is also alleged that customers with whom the company was in dispute had illegally accessed their personal information.
For his part, the former head of risk management at “IKEA France”, Jean-Francois Paris, admitted to the French judges that between 530 thousand and 630 thousand euros per year (633 thousand dollars to 753 thousand dollars) were allocated to such investigations.
Paris, who is among the defendants, said his administration was responsible for handling the case.
The two former general managers of the company, Jean-Louis Baillot, Stéphane Vanuferbeek, the former financial director Darius Richter, and the store managers are also on trial.