Swedish furniture giant accused of spying

Ikea Hak atas foto AP
Image caption Ikea France allegedly paid the police to get secret files.

The Swedish furniture giant Ikea has been accused of secretly accessing police files to spy on customers and staff in its stores in France. The company is alleged to have paid private security firms to carry out checks on over 200 people. Ten Ikea employees are planning to issue a formal complaint.

Reporter Christian Fraser

Report

Ikea is a company with a stringent code of conduct for its suppliers but less stringent it seems for the security firms it has employed here in France.

Their head of security paid over 100 dollars a time for secret police files held on a criminal database.

Over 200 people were investigated, with requests for criminal record and vehicle registration checks, though one email calls for information on someone thought to have made "anti-globalisation remarks" - someone who had raised concerns internally of a possible eco-terrorist attack.

It's reported the information was used in deciding whether to fire staff members and also in resolving disputes with certain customers.

In response the company told the BBC that Ikea has now opened a full investigation to bring to light all relevant information.

"We strongly disapprove," said a spokesman, "of any illegal activity which impinges on important values like the respect of privacy."

Illegal access to these files carries a penalty of up 400,000 dollars and five years in prison.

Vocabulary

Listen to the words

stringent: ketat

suppliers: pemasok

criminal database: bank data tentang penjahat

investigated: diselidiki

anti-globalisation: antiglobalisasi

raised concerns: menyatakan kekhawatiran

to fire: memecat

resolving: menyelesaikan

to bring to light: menerangkan

impinges on: melanggar

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