HAMBURG – H&M has been fined €35m by the German authorities after it was found guilty of serious data protection breaches at a customer service site in Nuremberg. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information says H&M bosses seriously violated the data protection rights of employees at a customer centre. It is claimed bosses unlawfully sounded out employees about their personal lives and are said to have kept “detailed and systematic” records about employees’ health, from bladder weakness to cancer, and about their private lives, such as family disputes or holiday experiences.
In a statement the Data protection authority in Hamburg said that since at least 2014, parts of the workforce had been subject to extensive recording of details about their private lives, while corresponding notes were permanently stored on a network drive. After absences such as vacations and sick leave – even short absences – the supervising team leaders conducted so-called” Welcome Back Talks with their employees.”
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