• Sweden's news in English

Ikea used secret French police files: report

The Local · 29 Feb 2012, 15:08

Published: 29 Feb 2012 09:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2012 15:08 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Weekly French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné and investigative website Rue89 report the company used French security companies to gain access to documents held in the STIC system.

STIC (Système de traitement des infractions constatées) is a centralized records system which groups together data from police investigations, including both suspected criminals and their victims.

Accessing the documents without authorization is an offence.

"The allegations have come to our knowledge and we look very seriously upon it. We have started an internal investigation to find out if there is any truth to it," Ikea's Sweden-based spokesperson Ylva Magnusson told the Local.

"We are a company based on values and honour, and we respect and believe in the importance of both our customers and our staff members."

In a statement issued in France, Ikea said it disapproved "clearly and vigorously all illegal practices that could undermine important values such as the respect for privacy."

A series of internal emails published by Le Canard Enchaîné allege that, starting in 2003, the head of security at Ikea's French operation regularly asked for checks on employees and clients.

Questions were asked about more than 200 people, including requests for criminal records, vehicle registration checks and affiliations with political organizations.

In one email reported by the newspaper, the head of risk management at Ikea asked whether a client involved in a dispute with the store was "known to police" and asked for a check on her address.

Another email reportedly requested information on someone who was thought to have made "anti-globalization remarks" and could even be an "eco-terrorist risk.

The newspaper reported that each check on the police files cost Ikea €80 ($108).

The STIC database has also been heavily criticized in France for inaccuracies.

A 2008 report by the data watchdog CNIL estimated that only 17 percent of the documents about individuals were accurate.

The company has been attacked before over its security methods.

Story continues below…

A 2010 book, "The Truth About Ikea", levelled accusations of racism and nepotism against the retailer. The book also claimed the company used surveillance methods that were worthy "of the Stasi."

Newspaper Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that around ten Ikea employees are planning to lodge a formal complaint about illegal use of personal data. The charge can be punished with a €300,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

The employees also plan to launch an association for victims of IKEA ("Association de Défense des Victimes d'IKEA") for employees, union representatives and customers who may have been affected by the alleged activities.

Matthew Warren/ The Local France

Find more French news in English at The Local France.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:42 February 29, 2012 by azimov
Is Ikea Swedish for 'made in China'?
14:51 February 29, 2012 by skogsbo
you mean a criminal records check before employing somebody, this of often mandatory for man jobs. Do you want to thief handling cash, a pedo working in Ikea dagis... If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.
20:03 February 29, 2012 by zooeden
You know what I dont care, that doesnt make it a Monster like Strauss-Kahn!!!
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available