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During her 12 years at Ikea France, Virginie Paulin worked her way up to director of communications and merchandising. But when she got sick, Ikea turned on her.
Doubting the legitimacy of her illness, the company hired a private detective to spy on Paulin. Then Ikea fired her.
Paulin’s lawsuit later uncovered evidence that Ikea France had spied on employees for decades - and consumers were targeted as well. In addition to other motivations, suspicion of employee wrongdoing or a consumer complaint could initiate Ikea surveillance.
Fueled by public outrage, a criminal investigation of Ikea France is now underway, and results show that Ikea’s extensive surveillance turned up very little it could use against its targets. It had no grounds to accuse Paulin of fraud or to fire her. Although the company says it now has a policy that respects privacy, it still hasn’t apologized for its actions, says Paulin.
Demand Ikea France stop spying on its employees and consumers.
We, the undersigned, say public outrage over Ikea France’s spying is justified.
The New York Times reports that after Paulin’s lawsuit in 2010, company emails leaked to the media revealed Ikea engaged in “extensive personal surveillance,” beginning as early as 2002.
It appears the only reason Ikea France has even claimed to change its policy on spying is because it got caught, and the only reason Paulin was compensated for the false accusations and her firing was because she was able to file a lawsuit.
According to reports, Paulin says she never even received an apology from this company that traumatized her so badly she almost took her own life.
Although the same report says Ikea France has expressed “regret” for the actions of “certain managers,” one manager’s attorney informed the Times that these illegal activities were approved by the company’s top managers and were conducted at management’s direction more than once.
Based on the Times’ report, it does not appear that Ikea France’s expression of regret has gone far enough.
We request Ikea France take decisive steps to ensure its employees and consumers will not be spied upon in the future.