FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Swedish furniture giant IKEA
Ikea's French subsidiary and several of its executives are set to go on trial Monday over accusations that they illegally spied on employees and customers.
Trade unions reported the furniture and home goods company to French authorities in 2012, accusing it of collecting personal data by fraudulent means and the illicit disclosure of personal information.
The unions specifically alleged that Ikea France
had paid to gain access to police files that had information about targeted individuals. Ikea France
on anyone, but Sweden-based Ikea
fired four executives in France
after French prosecutors opened a criminal probe in 2012.One accusation alleged that Ikea France used unauthorised data to try to catch an employee who had claimed unemployment benefits but drove a Porsche. Another says the subsidiary investigated an employee's criminal record to determine how the employee was able to own a BMW on a low income. Customers the company was in a dispute with also allegedly had their personal information inappropriately accessed.
The former head of Ikea France's risk management department, Jean-François Paris, acknowledged to French judges that 530,000 to 630,000 euros a year ($633,000 to $753,000) were earmarked for such investigations.