Tim Hortons app collected vast amounts of sensitive data: privacy watchdogs

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OTTAWA — Federal and provincial privacy watchdogs say the Tim Hortons mobile ordering app violated the law by collecting vast amounts of location information from customers.

In an investigation finding today, privacy commissioners say people who downloaded the Tim Hortons app had their movements tracked and recorded every few minutes of the day, even when their app was not open.

The investigation came after National Post reporter James McLeod obtained data showing the Tim Hortons app on his phone had tracked his location more than 2,700 times in less than five months.

Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien did the investigation jointly with privacy commissioners from British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.

The commissioners found the Tim Hortons app asked for permission to access a mobile device’s geolocation functions, but misled many users to believe information would only be accessed when the app was in use.

However, the app tracked users as long as the device was on, continually gathering their location data.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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