Take the cameras that follow us everywhere. Increase their intrusiveness level by a factor of ten and you get an idea of how much staff surveillance a German-based supermarket chain thinks it needs. Lidl has been spying on its German and Czech workers in ways that might shock the most avid defenders of surveillance, according to the Guardian story.
The store employed detectives and used video cameras to gather an alarming amount of personal information about its workers. Information about their finances, their tattoos, their love lives, their friends, how many times they went to the toilet….
Recording how a German employee identified as Frau M spent her break, one report read: “Frau M wanted to make a call with her mobile phone at 14.05 … She received the recorded message that she only had 85 cents left on her prepaid mobile. She managed to reach a friend with whom she would like to cook this evening, but on condition that her wage had been paid into her bank, because she would otherwise not have enough money to go shopping.” (from The Guardian)
The Guardian writer saw this incident in a Czech Republic store as the most shocking:
.. a female worker was forbidden to go to the toilet during working hours. An internal memorandum, which is now the centre of a court case in the republic, allegedly advised staff that “female workers who have their periods may go to the toilet now and again, but to enjoy this privilege they should wear a visible headband.