Pictured: An H&M retail store in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. (Mtaylor848/ Wikimedia Commons)

German regulators fined Swedish apparel retailer H&M Group roughly $41.5 million for gratuitously collecting personal data on its employees at a company service center in Nuremberg – sending a clear message to all businesses that privacy guidelines extend to their own workforce.

The Data Protection Authority (DPA) of Hamburg said that the penalty – so far the second-largest a company has ever been issued under the statutes of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – was the result of years of inappropriate worker data collection that was only discovered after a data leak.

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