July 3, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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The Tim Hortons app is responsible for massive privacy breaches

The Tim Hortons app is responsible for massive privacy breaches

According to Canadian Commissioner of Privacy Daniel Therian, the Tim Hortons mobile app violates privacy laws by collecting “large amounts” of sensitive geolocation data.

This is the conclusion of a joint investigation by federal and provincial privacy commissioners that was released on Wednesday.

Therefore, people who downloaded the application before the survey started, i.e. in 2020, tracked and recorded their movements every few minutes even when their application was not open, which is against the law. Canada on the protection of personal information.

To confirm where users live and work, the application uses geolocation data to determine if they are on the go. It made reference whenever customers entered or exited businesses competing with Tim Horton. The same alert is issued every time a user enters a sporting event venue, their residence and their place of work.

“Tim Hortons has gone to great lengths to gather sensitive information about its customers. This case once again exposes the harm caused by poorly designed technologies. It also highlights the need for strong laws to protect Canadians’ personal information,” Canadian Privacy Commissioner Daniel Thererian said in a press release.

The company stopped tracking this data after the investigation began. Since none of Canada’s privacy laws and laws protecting personal information are provided for, the legislative consequences of this type of action are likely to be minimal.

“Without due diligence, Tim Hortons collected sensitive customer information through his app without their proper understanding or consent. Diane Poitras, president of the Commission Diocese, announced that Quebec was reviewing its personal data protection law to give more powers to the Commission and to make companies more accountable. Quebec Information.

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Therefore, from September 2023, “significant penalties will be imposed on companies that do not adopt responsible, transparent and legal procedures” Said Poitras.