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IKEA in France to stand trial on charges of spying on staff

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The French branch of the Swedish company IKEA was accused of using a sophisticated system of surveillance of staff and those who want to get a job. In particular, they used the services of private detectives and police officers.

This is written by The Guardian.

IKEA France will face trial as a legal entity, as well as several of its former executives, who face prison.

The tracking scheme was revealed in 2012 by Le Canard Enchaine and Mediapart. Law enforcement officers launched an investigation after the Force Ouvriere trade union filed a legal complaint.

Prosecutors say IKEA France has set up a “spy system” in France, collecting information about the private lives of hundreds of current and future employees, including confidential criminal records.

After the disclosure, the company fired four executives, but IKEA France, which employs 10,000 people, still faces a fine of up to 3.75 million euros.

15 people, including former store managers and managers, are due to stand trial, along with four police officers who are accused of passing on confidential information. On some charges, they face up to 10 years in prison.

According to the prosecutor's office, the tracking system was based on Jean-Francois Paris, a former director of risk management at IKEA France. He allegedly regularly sent lists of names to private detectives, who could be paid up to 600 thousand euros.

The court will consider the actions of the company in the period from 2009 to 2012.

Among the victims of the surveillance, for example, is an employee of a company from Bordeaux, who " was previously a model worker, but suddenly became a protester.” So the company allegedly tried to find out whether there is a “threat of ecoterrorism" on his part.

Otherwise, the risk management director at IKEA France wanted to know how an employee could afford to drive a brand-new BMW convertible.

Now the company claims that it has since taken a number of measures, including completely reorganizing the hiring procedure.

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