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IKEA France apologises for infringing data privacy of staff

IKEA France apologises for infringing data privacy of staff

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Leading retail giant, IKEA, has apologised for infringing the data privacy of its employees in France after it was fined €1 million.

IKEA France said that the incident – where the retailer was found guilty of collecting staff members’ private data – ‘seriously undermined the values ​​and ethical standards of the company’.

Following the incident, which occurred in 2012, IKEA France put in place an action plan to prevent such practices, which still exists today.

Trevor J. Morgan, Product Manager at comforte AG, said: “The report that IKEA France was issued with a steep fine along with a suspended jail sentence for its ex-CEO underscores the incredible importance of abiding by the ethics and legal mandates of data privacy.

“We often think of breaches in data privacy in terms of an organisation misusing prospect/customer data or information about people outside the organisation. In this case, IKEA France mishandled and inappropriately used sensitive data about its own staff. All people have a right to data privacy and the proper use of sensitive information about them.

“Enterprises have a responsibility to honour that right and perform due diligence in carrying out that responsibility ethically and legally. Whether it means applying the appropriate level of data protection to potentially sensitive and private information, or simply using that data only for lawful purposes with the knowledge and consent of data subjects, the enterprise must comply or pay the price. If the question is how to protect sensitive data, take a data-centric approach using a tried and true method like tokenisation which keeps sensitive information from prying eyes. If the question is when and how to use that data, do the right thing and follow the law, and of course your conscience!”

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