Canadian coffee shop Tim Hortons has suggested a settlement to make amends for customers it spied on. To resolve four class-action lawsuits, the Canadian coffee and doughnut business offered free coffee and pastries to its clients. The Canadian government is currently looking into allegations that the Tim Hortons app tracked users’ whereabouts for more than a year without their consent. The inquiry was prompted by a Financial Post reporter’s assertion that the Tim Hortons app had logged his GPS position 2,700 times over five months in 2020. Following the publication of the study, class action suits were brought against Restaurant Brands International, the chain’s owner.
In June, Canadian privacy regulators determined that Tim Hortons had broken the law. Canadian Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien explained that “Our joint investigation tells yet another troubling story of a company that failed to ensure proper design of an intrusive technology, resulting in a mass invasion of Canadians’ privacy. It also highlights the very real risks related to location data and the tracking of individuals.” Additionally, Therrien noted that “As a society, we would not accept it if the government wanted to track our movements every few minutes of every day. It is equally unacceptable that private companies think so little of our privacy and freedom that they can initiate these activities without giving it more than a moment’s thought.”
According to the Washington Examiner, the company stated, “We’re 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. As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a free hot beverage and a free baked good.” The company added that “All parties agree 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 the Quebec court’s approval of the settlement, the courts in British Columbia and Ontario will recognize the settlement.”
An email sent to customers claimed the details of the settlement would be released following approval of the settlement. However, customers are set to receive a complimentary hot beverage with a suggested retail price of $6.19 Canadian and a pastry with a suggested retail price of $2.39 Canadian.