Tim Hortons offers outrageous settlement for privacy breach

Tim Hortons offers mobile app users a free coffee and doughnut in class action lawsuit 

Back in early June, we covered a story in our weekly news roundup about a joint investigation by Canadian privacy officials into Tim Hortons’ illegal data tracking of customers through its mobile app. 

The investigation found that Tim Hortons misled many users by gathering users’ location data hundreds of times per day, despite its claims that the mobile app would only gather information while in use. 

This week, Tim Hortons distributed an email to its users stating that the chain has reached a proposed settlement in multiple class action lawsuits related to the privacy breach. The settlement, however, may only be slightly less egregious than the violation itself. 

“As part of the proposed settlement agreement, eligible app users will receive a hot beverage and a free baked good,” the email stated. “Distribution details will be provided following approval, in the event that the court approves the settlement. This settlement may affect your rights, whether you act or not.”

So, if you’ve ever wondered how much your personal privacy is worth to Canada’s favourite Brazilian-owned fast food chain, it appears to be no more than a coffee and doughnut. As we said in our initial coverage of the violation, the breach, if nothing else, serves us with yet another reminder to buy our beverages and baked goods from local makers.