IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'

Spytech removed after staff outrage


IKEA has removed hidden security cameras from its warehouse in Peterborough, England, after an employee spotted one in the ceiling void while using the toilet.

Workers at the Swedish flat-pack furniture giant were concerned that they may have been spied on while in the bathroom.

The discovery was made last week when the lights were switched off. A member of staff spotted what appeared to be a small red light between the panels of a suspended ceiling. When they investigated, they found the hidden camera.

When they looked further, they found a number of other cameras above both the men's and ladies' toilets.

One worker told the Peterborough Telegraph: "They were not wireless cameras, there is a whole network of cable."

IKEA admitted they had been in place since 2015. The company did not say when they were last used.

While some reports have suggested a link between the cameras and the vicinity with the toilets, IKEA claims they were placed there for another purpose.

In a statement, a spokesperson for IKEA told The Register: "Peterborough Distribution Centre is a large warehouse facility where forklift trucks and HGVs are in regular operation.

"In support of our health and safety policy, we have a drugs testing policy in place as per industry standards.

"The installation of the cameras in 2015 was to detect alleged activity that could have resulted in serious injury to co-workers, and to maintain a high level of safety on-site.

"The cameras were only ever intended to film activity in the roof space or corridors."

It has now confirmed that all the cameras have been removed and it is carrying out an investigation into the matter.

Staff are now reportedly considering legal action.

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the body has not received a complaint on the matter.

Declining to be drawn on the specifics of the case, it told us: "Recording images of any identifiable individuals through CCTV cameras needs to be done in line with data protection law.

"In areas where people expect a high level of privacy, such as changing rooms or toilet areas, CCTV should only be used in the most exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to deal with very serious concerns. In these cases, organisations must inform people when a CCTV is in operation and that appropriate restrictions on viewing and disclosing images are in place."

In July, ICO officers raided two homes in Southern England after pictures of former health secretary Matt Hancock kissing a colleague appeared in British newspaper The Sun.

The images were taken from what appeared to be CCTV footage from within the Department of Health and Social Care in London.

Following publication, Hancock resigned after admitting a breach of social distancing rules. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading
  • Meta hires network chip guru from Intel: What does this mean for future silicon?
    Why be a customer when you can develop your own custom semiconductors

    Analysis Here's something that should raise eyebrows in the datacenter world: Facebook parent company Meta has hired a veteran networking chip engineer from Intel to lead silicon design efforts in the internet giant's infrastructure hardware engineering group.

    Jon Dama started as director of silicon in May for Meta's infrastructure hardware group, a role that has him "responsible for several design teams innovating the datacenter for scale," according to his LinkedIn profile. In a blurb, Dama indicated that a team is already in place at Meta, and he hopes to "scale the next several doublings of data processing" with them.

    Though we couldn't confirm it, we think it's likely that Dama is reporting to Alexis Bjorlin, Meta's vice president of infrastructure hardware who previously worked with Dama when she was general manager of Intel's Connectivity group before serving a two-year stint at Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022