CyberNews Briefs

Your Tim Hortons Coffee App Knew Where You Were at All Times

Canadian investigators are reportedly looking into an alleged privacy breach in the Tim Horton’s mobile app. The coffee shop’s app was reportedly tracking movements and recording the data every few minutes per day, regardless of if the app was open. This is in violation of Canada’s privacy laws set forth to protect users. The Tim Horton’s app asks for permission to use the device’s geolocation functions, however, many users may believe that this data will only be accessed when the app is in use to locate stores nearby. Authorities have concluded that this is not the case. The investigation was a collaborative effort including provincial authorities in multiple regions, including Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta.

According to authorities, the app also used location data to determine where users lived, where they worked, and whether they were traveling and generated an event every time users left or entered a competitor of Tim Hortons. This is a clear and severe breach of privacy. The coffee chain has scrapped plans to use the data collected in the app for targeted advertising, however, it kept the geolocation data and continued to analyze user trends until 2020 when the government started its investigation.

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