August 13, 2020

Dutch supermarket drops call for staff underwear photos

(BBC) – The Netherlands’ leading supermarket chain has abandoned a request for staff to upload semi-naked photographs of themselves to an app so it could work out sizes for a new uniform.

Albert Heijn had called on staff at a branch in the eastern city of Nijmegen to upload photos of themselves in their underwear or tight-fitting sports gear.

The move sparked widespread criticism on Dutch social media.

Abandoning the trial, the company admitted it should never have happened.

Clearly appalled by the idea of a supermarket having a database of its workers in their underwear, the Dutch Data Protection Authority described it as bizarre.

Albert Heijn had “no grounds whatsoever to require its staff to do this”, it said, suggesting uniform sizes could be determined in a less radical way.

The story was first reported by Dutch newspaper NRC, which said a poster about the method for measuring the uniform had appeared in a staff canteen in the Nijmegen supermarket.

“Wear underwear or tight-fitting sportswear so the contours of your body can be measured as accurately as possible. And ask someone to help you take the photos,” it said.

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