H&M has been fined more than $41 million for allegedly tracking hundreds of employees’ personal lives on a company database.
Managers at the Swedish retailer’s customer service center in Nuremberg kept meticulous notes on workers’ vacations, illnesses, religious beliefs and family problems starting in at least 2014, according to the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, a German privacy watchdog.
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Those notes, based on workplace meetings and one-on-one conversations, were used to evaluate staffers’ work performance and make decisions about their “employment relationship,” regulators said Thursday, calling H&M’s practices a “particularly intensive interference” with its employees’ rights.
The details supervisors recorded were sometimes visible to as many as 50 other managers, officials said. But a “configuration error” made the data accessible company-wide for a