Report: Ikea Paid French Police To Spy On Its Staff & Customers

A French newspaper is claiming that those fresh-faced, furniture-loving Swedes at Ikea have been handing cash to police in exchange for files on its staff and customers. The claims say Ikea asked for checks on criminal records, vehicle registrations and more.

Le Canard Enchaine published emails where they say Ikea managers were asking police for information, says BBC News, at around 200 requests.

The report quotes emails from Ikea asking police to check on employees, including union members. They were offered access to files by the police for about 80 euros a time. Ikea is said to have used that info to decide who to fire or to resolve disputes with customers.

Ikea France says they’ll investigate.

“We disapprove in the strongest possible way of all these kinds of illegal practices which are an affront to important values such as respect for a person’s private life,” the company said in a statement. “We intend to carry out a full investigation to find out what if anything has been taking place. But we stress that our own investigation in no way amounts to any kind of admission that these practices have been carried out.”

The BBC says, however, that the information gathered by Ikea wasn’t all correct, as a 2008 report into a police database called STIC showed only 17% of the documents on individuals were correct.

Ikea ‘paid French police for secret files on staff’ [BBC News]