Swedish fashion chain H&M has become the focus of an investigation by the privacy watchdog in the German state of Hamburg, citing evidence that the chain was spying on its customer service representatives. If convicted, the maximum fine can be as high as 4 % of H&M’s global turnover.
Violation of privacy
Johannes Caspar, the head of Hamburg’s privacy protection office, has said that the evidence was found on a 60-gigabyte hard disk that contained detailed data on the employees’ health and private life. Among other things, their diseases, family disputes and holiday memories were recorded and stored in such a way that all the managers had access to it, Caspar stated.
The Swedish chain has “expressed its honest regret“, Associated Press writes, and says it takes the case extremely seriously and will give its full cooperation with the investigating authorities.
The privacy protection office has said that it will conclude the investigation and determine the height of the possible fines in the next few weeks. According to GDPR, the maximum fine can be as high as 4 % of H&M’s total annual turnover worldwide (some 22 billion euros).