IKEA fined for spying on staff in France

A French court has fined IKEA $1.21 million for spying on staff.

The world's biggest furniture retailer was found guilty of improperly gathering and storing data on employees.

Its French unit was accused of snooping on workers over several years.

The charges focused on 2009-12, but prosecutors say the spy tactics ran for many more years.

Allegations included breaching privacy by reviewing records of staff bank accounts, and using fake employees to write up reports on workers.

The boss of the French unit was also found guilty, and given a two-year suspended sentence.

Also suspected were several store managers, some human resources team members, a private investigator and some police officers.

The company says it has taken steps to stamp out surveillance, and is reviewing the court decision to see if further steps are needed.

Several managers were fired after the charges first came to light back in 2012.

IKEA has acknowledged some spying, but denied setting up a widespread espionage system.

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