Ikea sells furniture- and heaps of it- but is it true that in France, Ikea was spying?
In major international news, Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea has been charged with allegations of spying in France. And not only that, the mega brand, a household name world over, has even been fined with a sum no fewer than $1.3 million. The allegation is that- Ikea was part of a spying campaign in one of the strongest nations in western European. Although, such instance of corporate espionage, common in a massively cut-throat business world where one tries to covertly gather intel about another organisation- it’s to-be-launched campaigns, new business ideas, marketing strategies, products- happen all the time, what’s shocking is that a brand as reputed as Ikea has been involved in the illicit affair!
So this brings us to the key question- what exactly led to the reason that Ikea was spying of all things?
Apparently, in keeping a close watch over tens of hundreds of dissatisfied customers, union representatives, as well as employees- Ikea was spying on a set of people from which it could gather useful information to keep itself on top of things on the front of business and commerce.
Although, that being said, a French court has already ordered the home furnishings giant to pay a massive sum that amounts to no fewer than 1.1 million euros. Although, that Ikea was spying has now clearly been established but any claims or allegations that the Swedish brand had a categorical objective of spying on the country’s resources and had been engaged in similar activities in the past is not true, as a matter of fact.
But all of that said, just how was it established that Ikea was spying in France and had been engaging in activities that it would have been better off from?
What’s interesting is that in this case, it was a whistleblower who exposed the wrongdoing on part of the company. So this brings us to the question- just who was the whistleblower and didn’t he or she fear for her life or feel threatened in some way?
Truth be told, behind the courageous act of masking the undoing was Adel Amara, who happens to be a former Ikea employee who exposed the entire episode.
She would also hail the decision taken by the French court, stating in no uncertain terms that, “It makes be glad that there is justice in France,” whilst referring to the verdict handed by the French court.
The panel of judges at the Versailles court found that between 2009 and 2012, Ikea’s French subsidiary used espionage to sift out trouble-makers in the employee ranks and to profile squabbling customers.
Ikea France was convicted of receiving personal data obtained through fraudulent means in a habitual way, and ordered to pay 1 million euros in fines and about 100,000 euros ($121,225) in damages.
Trade unions accused Ikea France of collecting personal data by fraudulent means, notably via illegally obtained police files, and illicitly disclosing personal information. Lawyers for Ikea France denied that the company had any strategy of “generalized espionage.”
But such an episode leaves a blithe on the image of a company, an established brand that has, for decades together, been behind some of the most venerable and much loved products warmly embraced in nearly half of the world.