Ikea is at the centre of a spying investigation in France over allegations that it paid private detectives to snoop on workers and pry into the private lives of disgruntled customers who complained about late kitchen deliveries or faulty wardrobe parts.
The Swedish chain, which presents itself as the friendly face of affordable furnishing, said police searched its French headquarters and the home of its head of risk management last Friday, examining computers and seizing documents as part of a preliminary judicial inquiry into alleged illegal surveillance practices.
Two French trade unions have filed legal complaints against Ikea for allegedly spying on employees by fraudulently obtaining police files. The investigative newspaper Le Canard Enchainé has published emails allegedly exchanged between Ikea’s management in France and a private security firm which it claimed was charged with digging up personal information on employees and unhappy shoppers who were in litigation with the company.
The firm is alleged to have requested a range of personal data including criminal records and confidential details of any dealings with the justice system. It said scores of people had been targeted, including a union leader.
Read More: Guardian