Tim Hortons, the Canadian fast-food chain accused of using its mobile app to collect “large amounts of sensitive location data” in violation of Canadian privacy laws, says it has reached a proposed settlement in the resulting class actions, Vice reports. To compensate for tracking users, recording their movements “every few minutes” even when the app was closed, the channel is offering to give affected users… a free hot drink and a free pastry worth one just under $9 CAD plus tax.
Customers began receiving emails detailing the proposed settlement on Friday, and screenshots have been released. 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 geolocation data collection between April 1, 2019 and April 30, 2019. September 2020,” the email reads. “As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot beverage and a free bakery product.”
In addition to offering the beverage and snack (which have a retail value of CAD$6.19 and CAD$2.39 plus tax respectively), Tim Hortons has also pledged to permanently remove any geolocation of group members. . But above all, the restaurant chain tells World News that the proposed settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing and that the allegations have not been proven in court.
The allegations surfaced in a report by the national post, when a reporter discovered that the app had tracked their location more than 2,700 times in less than five months. A subsequent investigation by Canadian privacy watchdogs found that even though the app asked for location permission, it misled users into believing that they would only be tracked using the application. Instead, they would have been tracked throughout their day, allowing Tim Hortons to infer where they lived, where they worked, and analyze when they visited competing restaurants or major sports venues.
The company originally planned to use this information for targeted advertising, but ended up using it to analyze user trends, such as determining when they may have switched to rival coffee chains. “Tim Hortons has clearly crossed the line by amassing an enormous amount of highly sensitive customer information,” Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien said when the report was released. “Tracking people’s movements every few minutes of 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 involving the Tim Hortons app,” a gatekeeper said. chain word. Vice. “As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot beverage and a free bakery product.”
“All parties agree that this is a fair settlement and we look forward to the Superior Court of Quebec’s decision on the proposal. We are confident that pending Quebec court approval of the settlement, the courts in British Columbia and Ontario will recognize the settlement,” they said.