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Germany fines H&M 35 million euros for data protection breaches

FILE PHOTO: A closed H&M store is pictured during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hamburg, Germany March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s H&M has been fined 35 million euros ($41 million) by the German authorities for internal data security breaches at its customer service centre in Nuremberg, the fashion retailer said on Thursday.

“The regional data protection authority in Hamburg has imposed an administrative fine of 35 million euros. The H&M group admits shortcomings at the service centre and has taken forceful measures to correct this,” it said in its June-August earnings report.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung last year reported that the State Data Protection Commissioner in Hamburg had launched a probe into H&M management unlawfully sounding out workers about their personal life and storing the details.

According to the paper, H&M collected information on illnesses and other personal circumstances of employees at the centre. H&M said in January the breaches found were unacceptable and it was cooperating with the authorities.

($1 = 0.8518 euros)

(This story corrects to read June (not May), paragraph 2)

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Evans

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