Tim Hortons wants to settle location-tracking lawsuits with coffee and doughnuts

Investigators found that the company collected geolocation data without consent for over a year.

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Tim Hortons restaurant sign at entrance. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Education Images via Getty Images

Tim Hortons has agreed to settle multiple class action lawsuits that accused the company of tracking customers' locations through its app without consent. Under the proposed settlement, which requires a judge's approval, eligible customers in Canada will receive a free hot drink and baked good. In other words, in exchange for your location data, the restaurant chain will give you coffee and a doughnut.

In an email to customers, the company said it will delete any geolocation data it obtained from them between April 1st, 2019 and September 30th, 2020, and tell third-party vendor Radar Labs to do the same. An investigation conducted by Canadian privacy officials determined last month that the Tim Hortons app was tracking and recording users' locations every few minutes, even when they didn't have the app open. The probe determined that the company and Radar Labs didn't have sufficient consent from users for that level of tracking. 

Tim Hortons has not admitted to any wrongdoing and isn't believed to have misused the data. It also avoided disciplinary action.

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