24 July 2021,   07:34
Ikea sentenced to one million euros for spying on its employees

It is the culmination of more than 8 years of proceedings. On Tuesday, June 15, the French subsidiary of Ikea and one of its former CEOs were respectively sentenced to a fine of one million euros and a suspended prison sentence for spying on several hundred employees between 2009 and 2012, writes paudal.com.

The Versailles Criminal Court found them guilty of “Concealment of personal data by fraudulent means”, but sentenced them to less severe sentences than those requested by the prosecutor, who accused them of “Mass surveillance”. The prosecution had asked for a fine of two million euros for the sign, as well as firm imprisonment for one of the former CEO, Jean-Louis Baillot.

Throughout the trial, which lasted two weeks in March, Jean-Louis Baillot, CEO from 1996 to 2002, had denied en bloc having ordered the surveillance of employees. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to two years’ suspended imprisonment and a € 50,000 fine.

He was also acquitted of several charges, such as the offense of concealment of complicity in the misuse of personal information or concealment of breach of professional secrecy. “Jean-Louis Baillot is in shock, we are considering a call”, declared his lawyer Me François Saint-Pierre at the end of the hearing.

Jean-Louis Baillot’s successor, Stefan Vanoverbeke, CEO of Ikea France from 2010 to 2015, was released, as requested by the prosecutor because there was no “Material element” against him.

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, which recognized at the helm of “Mass checks” of employees. He was sentenced to 18 months suspended imprisonment and a fine of € 10,000. For the prosecutor, the deliberation had to send a “Strong message” to all commercial companies, by honoring “The protection of our private lives” in front of the “Mass surveillance”.