Tim Hortons, the Canadian fast food chain accused of using its mobile app to collect “huge amounts of sensitive location data” in violation of Canadian privacy laws, says it has reached a proposed settlement in the resulting class action lawsuits, Shame reports. To make up for tracking users and recording their movements “every few minutes” even when the app was closed, the chain is proposing to give affected users … a free hot drink and a free baked good worth just under $9 CAD plus tax.
Customers began receiving emails on Friday detailing the proposed settlement, and screenshots included: posted on Twitter by James McLeod. “You are receiving this email in connection with a proposed settlement, subject to court approval, of a national class action lawsuit involving the Tim Hortons app and the collection of geolocation data between April 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 “, the email reads. “As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot drink and a free baked good.”
In addition to offering the drink and snack (at a retail value of $6.19 CAD and $2.39 CAD plus taxes, respectively), Tim Hortons has also committed to permanently removing all geolocation about group members. Crucially, however, the restaurant chain tells: Worldwide news that the proposed settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, and that the allegations have not been proven in a court of law.
The allegations emerged in a report by the National Post, when a reporter found that the app had tracked their location more than 2,700 times in less than five months. A subsequent investigation by Canadian privacy watchdogs said that although the app asked for permission to track location, it misled users into thinking they would only be tracked while using the app. Instead, they were reportedly tracked throughout the day, allowing Tim Hortons to deduce where they lived, where they worked, and analyze when they visited competing restaurants or major sporting venues.
The company initially planned to use this information for targeted advertising, but eventually used it to analyze user trends, such as figuring out when they might have switched to competing coffee chains. “Tim Hortons has clearly crossed the line by collecting a huge amount of highly sensitive information about his customers,” Canadian Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien said when the report was released. “Monitoring people’s movements every few minutes every day was clearly an inappropriate form of surveillance.”
“We are pleased to have reached a proposed settlement, subject to court approval, in the four class action lawsuits in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario related to the Tim Hortons app,” a chain spokesperson said. . Shame. “As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot drink and a free baked good.”
“All parties agree that this is a fair settlement and we look forward to the decision of the Supreme Court of Quebec on the proposal. We are confident that, pending the approval of the settlement by the court of Quebec, the courts in British Columbia and Ontario will recognize the settlement,” they said.