Espionage of employees: Ikea France fined a million euros

Prosecution Says Private Investigation Company Paid By Ikea Drew Confidential Data in police files.

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Ikea’s French subsidiary and one of its former CEOs were respectively sentenced to a million euros fine and suspended prison sentence, Tuesday, June 15, for spying on several hundred employees for years. The Versailles Criminal Court found them guilty of “concealing personal data by fraudulent means”.

These penalties are lower than the penalties requested by the prosecutor, who accused them of “mass surveillance”. In April, the prosecution requested a 2 million euro fine against Ikea France and a year in prison against one of its ex-CEO, Jean-Louis Baillot. In office from 1996 to 2002, the latter denied at the hearing of having ordered surveillance of his employees. “We are considering a call”, reacted his lawyer, Tuesday.

Revealed by the press and then investigated from 2012, the case has brought to light, according to the prosecution, “a surveillance system” of employees and customers. Ikea France and its leaders at the time were accused of having illegally inquired about their criminal record, their lifestyle or their heritage via a company “in business advice” Eirpace, who allegedly drew this confidential data from police files.

At the heart of this “system”, Jean-François Paris, the former “Mr. Security” of Ikea France from 2002 to 2012, had recognized at the helm of “mass checks” of employees. He was sentenced to 18 months suspended imprisonment and a 10,000 euro fine.

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