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26th Mar 2022

IKEA apologies after filming staff using bathrooms with CCTV above toilets

Danny Jones

IKEA filmed staff in the bathroom

The cameras were reportedly installed to monitor drug use

A branch of IKEA has apologised after bosses inadvertently filmed staff using bathrooms at work after they installed CCTV cameras above the toilets.

The Swedish company published the findings of a probe launched back in September 2021 looking into how and why surveillance cameras were placed above ten bathrooms at a distribution centre in Peterborough.

The bosses installed cameras in the ceiling voids above the toilets in the Cambridgeshire branch all the way back in November 2015 after a number of staff members were accused of drug use and provision of false urine samples for testing.

Nevertheless, the investigation found that two cameras became dislodged and subsequently captured footage from the communal areas in both a female and male bathroom. No footage was captured of toilet cubicles and the location insists it was accidental.

An IKEA spokesperson said: “Whilst the intention at the time was to ensure the health and safety of co-workers, we understand the fact that colleagues were filmed unknowingly in these circumstances will have caused real concern; and for this we are sincerely sorry.”

The CCTV cameras were operational all the way up until July 2017 but were not found to be recording when staff found them last September, according to findings.

The investigation also went on to state that no CCTV was recorded in toilet cubicles themselves and footage showing staff in bathrooms was only observed during the independent investigation.

Once again, an IKEA spokesperson added: “[the camera] installation followed serious concerns about the use of drugs on site, which, owing to the nature of work carried out at the site, could have very serious consequences for the safety of our co-workers.

“The cameras placed within the voids were positioned only to record irregular activity in the ceiling voids.

“They were not intended to, and did not, record footage in the toilet cubicles themselves. However, as a result of ceiling tiles becoming dislodged, two cameras inadvertently recorded footage of the communal areas of two bathrooms for a period of time in 2017.

“The footage was not viewed at the time and was only recovered as part of these investigations.”

The furniture giant said it had passed the report’s findings onto the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK regulator for data privacy.

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