The Hamburg representative for data protection and freedom of information (HmbBfDI) imposed a fine of €35,258,707.95 on a German subsidiary of Swedish fashion retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB. HmbBfDl learned that the company had been collecting details since 2014 about employee absences for vacation and illness, recording those details, and discussing them among managers in regard to the employees’ situations at the company. The discovery was made possible because the data was briefly accessible company-wide in 2019. HmbBfDI ruled that “the combination of research into private life and the ongoing recording of what activity they were engaged in led to a particularly intensive interference with the rights of those affected.” The company cooperated with HmbBfDl, apologized to employees, and offered to compensate affected employees.

https://datenschutz-hamburg.de/pressemitteilungen/2020/10/2020-10-01-h-m-verfahren