An Ikea store Photograph:( Reuters )
The information being collected involved any previous or current criminal investigations and also their personal lifestyle choices
The French subsidiary of the Swedish furniture store, Ikea, has been found guilty of illegally spying on its employees and aspiring candidates.
Ikea’s French unit has been fined with one million euros ($1.2 million) for illegally spying on hundreds of employees and also job applicants from 2009 to 2012.
"What's at stake is the protection of our private lives against the threat of mass surveillance," state prosecutor Pamela Tabardel said.
The information being collected involved any previous or current criminal investigations and also their personal lifestyle choices.
In addition to a million dollar fine, the former CEO Jean-Lousi Baillot has also been given a suspended two-year prison sentence. He was also fine 50,000 euros as he was found guilty of "receiving personal data by fraudulent means" while he served as the head between 1996 and 2002.
The prosecutors had accused the furniture store of "mass surveillance" and wanted stricter fines for the company. Baillot, however, was shocked by the sentence and is considering an appeal, his lawyer reported.
Several plaintiffs, in addition to the union representative, felt the punishment was too lenient for such a crime, but are satisfied the company was held guilty.