It said the videos zoomed in on women with short skirts and revealing tops as they leaned over to pick up food in the frozen section or bent down in other sections of the store to pick up an item. The videos were then burned onto CDs and traded among the employees, the report said.
The magazine said the company would not comment on the specific claims but did say that mistakes may have been made in individual cases.
The report said employees in Frankfurt am Main, Dieburg and other stores in the Hesse region were mainly behind the secret videos.
Aldi Süd said it would take “appropriate disciplinary consequences” should it determine that rules have been violated.
The report said the company employs surveillance cameras in the cashier’s area, even though there have been legal issues with this. Additionally in certain cases detectives have been employed to install mobile mini camera systems. This practice is also legally debatable as well, the report said.
The videos show the EC-card units and also film workers in the storage and delivery areas, the magazine wrote. Peter Schaar, the federal official in charge of data protection, said he has issues with this.
Aldi Süd argues that the cameras are in a secure position in the cashier’s area and do not record customer’s PIN numbers. The videos made available to Der Spiegel however clearly show the EC card terminal used to check out those who pay with the card, the magazine said.
The company also said that the cameras were needed to “protect our employees, customers and delivery personnel from dangerous situations and robberies.” They are used as “a prevention and protection” for the company’s property, Aldi Süd said.
The situation is very different for Aldi-Nord, the magazine wrote. That division only employs security cameras in stores that have experienced a lot of robberies – and the company never uses cameras in the cashiers' area. Filming the registers and the PIN numbers is “strictly prohibited,” the company told Der Spiegel.
The two companies belong to the same holding company but are run independently.