German firm spied on jobseekers' sex lives
Telecoms firm Deutsche Telekom reportedly investigated the private lives, including the sex lives, of prospective employees in Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia and Slovenia.Berlin -- German telecoms firm Deutsche Telekom commissioned reports on the personal details, including the sex lives, of prospective workers, business daily Handelsblatt reported Wednesday.
According to "personnel screening" documents obtained by the paper, one woman in the running for a job at a Croatian subsidiary of the firm was described as a "very experienced and imaginative sexual partner."
The woman was "known by her friends as a female predator with a seriously elevated sex-drive" and "preferred older men," according to the report cited by Handelsblatt.
Another report, seemingly drawn up by the BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, described one candidate as a heavy drinker and another as a "corrupt rat."
Handelsblatt quoted an unnamed "security consultant" previously employed by Deutsche Telekom as saying that dozens of similar reports were drawn up about prospective employees in Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia and Slovenia.
The firm said that it did not routinely commission reports on the private details of potential staff.
"Deutsche Telekom does not have a policy of analysing the private life of applicants. Deutsche Telekom does not need any information about the private life of candidates," Philipp Blank, a spokesman for the firm, told AFP.
But the report is the latest in a series of scandals that has rocked the company.
It has admitted spying on journalists and members of its supervisory board in a bid to find the source of press leaks.
Deutsche Telekom has also admitted going through the bank records of more than 100,000 workers in 2006 and comparing them with those of suppliers for signs of potential shell companies.
Spying scandals have also plagued other companies in Germany in recent months, at Deutsche Bahn, Lidl and Airbus.
The issue of data-protection is especially sensitive in Germany as the Nazis and Communists in former East Germany would routinely spy on citizens.