Tim Hortons offered its customers a free coffee and donut as part of a settlement to resolve tracking claims.
Tim Hortons proposed a settlement to make amends for spying on his customers. Thus, the Canadian coffee and donut chain only offered those affected free coffee and baked goods as refunds for class action lawsuits. Previously, it was revealed that the company had been tracking its app users for over a year, Vice reported.
Specifically, as part of a settlement, Tim Hortons proposed a free cup of coffee to eligible customers in Canada along with offering a donut. They want to settle four class action lawsuits. Through the Tim Hortons app, the company was able to track users’ location data without their consent for more than a year. The Canadian data protection authority had previously determined that the app collects “huge amounts of sensitive location data”. The settlement now requires the approval of the court.
Data was used for trend analysis of company business
In an e-mail, Tim Hortons informed users who were already affected about the lawsuit . This entitles them to a free drink valued at 6,19 Canadian Dollars and pick up the free donut worth 2,39 CAD. Likewise, the company promised that it will delete all collected geolocation data. It will direct the third-party provider Radar Labs to do the same. The Toronto-based restaurant chain said it used the information in aggregated and anonymized form for usage trend analysis.
As reported by The Register , the Tim Hortons app 2017 was launched. She was almost
by July 2019 Downloaded millions of times. In the last few months alone, the app has had about 1.2017.000 people actively used. After adding the Radar SDK to the app in May 2019 it collected every 2.5 depending on the app version or 6-minute accurate GPS location coordinates and associated data, such as timestamps.
Tim Horton’s offer price for one year of customer tracking: a free coffee and donut
According to an investigation by the Canadian government, the mobile app released by the restaurant chain from May 2019 until August 2020 customers constantly monitored. Accordingly, it has recorded their location data without valid consent. According to Canadian regulators, Tim Hortons’ data collection violates Canadian law.
In a report released in early June, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) of Canada and privacy commissioners from three provinces – Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec – summarized the findings of their investigation. The document revealed that the Tim Hortons app was collecting location data every few minutes, even when it was just running in the background.
“We noticed that Tim Hortons updated in May 2019. versions of its app has released. With the help of a US third-party provider (“Radar”), it was possible to track and record the location of users’ devices. The purpose of the data collection was to: (i) infer the location of a user’s home, place of work and when they travelled; and (ii) determine when the user visited a competitor of Tim Hortons.”
Privacy Commissioner underscores need for strict data protection laws
Daniel Therrien, who Data Protection Commissioner of Canada stated in a statement:
” Tim Hortons has clearly crossed the line by collecting a massive amount of highly sensitive information about his clients. Following people’s movements every few minutes every day was clearly an inappropriate form of surveillance. This case once again underscores the damage that can result from poorly designed technologies. As a result, there is a need for strong privacy laws to protect the rights of Canadians. It is important to emphasize that the allegations made in the class action lawsuits have not been proven in court. Furthermore, the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.”
Tim Hortons is confident
Tim Hortons, on the other hand, was pleased to come up with a solution to have. Accordingly, the company stated to Motherboard:
“We are pleased that we have reached a settlement proposal in the four class action lawsuits in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario, subject to court approval. As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot beverage and pastry. All parties agree that this is a fair settlement. We look forward to the Quebec Supreme Court’s decision on the proposal. We are confident that once the Quebec court has approved the settlement, the British Columbia and Ontario courts will honor the settlement.”