- Tim Hortons and multiple class action lawsuits alleging that the restaurant’s mobile app violated customers’ privacy have reached a potential settlement.
- The company contends that the class actions’ claims were rejected by the courts and that the payment does not amount to an admission of guilt.
A proposed settlement between Tim Hortons and several class action lawsuits alleging that the restaurant’s mobile app breached customers’ privacy has been reached. Under the proposed settlement, Tim Hortons would provide impacted consumers with a free coffee and doughnut.
The court must still approve the deal, which was reached with the legal teams representing the parties to the claims.
The coffee and doughnut brand would instruct third-party service providers to destroy any geolocation data they may have obtained between April 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020.
Joey Zukran, an attorney with the Montreal-based legal firm LPC Avocat Inc., which brought the class action in Quebec, said, “We think that it’s a favorable resolution because it delivers compensation that has a real value.”
He added that a victory in a privacy issue is never guaranteed in Canada. Here we have some kind of recovery and guarantee, as opposed to potential long-term uncertainty.
It’s unknown how many users who would be qualified to receive a free hot beverage and baked item used the app in the 18 months ending on September 30, 2020.
Four million active users were registered during the three months that concluded on March 31, 2022, according to Restaurant Brands International Inc., the parent company of Tim Hortons, in a presentation to investors in May.
David Fraser, a privacy lawyer at McInnes Cooper in Halifax, said, “I suspect people who receive this will think it’s tiny, but class action settlements are very often paltry for the end customer.”
The compensation may not seem like much on an individual basis, but considering the number of parties that could be affected, he claimed, “it may be appropriate in aggregate.”
However, Fraser noted that some would believe it isn’t high enough to “serve as a disincentive to further misbehavior.”
The case “reflects how odd privacy harms are,” he continued, “anytime you settle, there’s going to be a compromise.”
According to Fraser, if you used the app and Tim Hortons obtained your location data without your proper, informed consent but did nothing with it, you haven’t experienced what would be deemed a concrete injury.
You’re attempting to make up for the unpleasantness or creepiness someone might experience due to learning that their information was obtained without their knowledge or agreement.
Following an examination by federal and provincial privacy watchdogs, it was discovered that the mobile ordering app had broken the law by gathering customer location data.
The privacy commissioners claimed in a report made public last month that consumers who downloaded the Tim Hortons app had their whereabouts tracked and regularly recorded, even when the app was not open on their phones.
According to data obtained by National Post reporter James McLeod, the software on his phone had tracked his whereabouts more than 2,700 times in less than five months.
Tim Hortons expressed its delight at having achieved a proposed resolution in a statement of four class action lawsuits brought in Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.
All parties concur that this is a reasonable settlement, and the business stated that it was anticipating the Superior Court of Quebec’s ruling on the plan.
“We are hopeful that British Columbia and Ontario courts will recognize the settlement pending the Quebec court’s approval of the settlement.”
According to the business, the claims made in the class actions were not upheld in court, and the settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt.
Customers will get an email on Friday from Tim Hortons detailing the proposed settlement.
According to court filings, Tim Hortons claimed that the retail value of a free hot beverage is $6.19 and the worth of a baked treat is $2.39 plus taxes.
According to the documents, customers would receive a credit for the goods using a coupon or the Tim Hortons app.
If the court authorizes the settlement, Tim Hortons stated specifics on how the complimentary hot beverage and baked treat would be distributed would be made available.
On September 6, a hearing will be held in a Quebec court to discuss the suggested resolution.
Source: CTV News
Get Canada and Yukon’s top News, Market News, and other News of USA and worldwide only on yukonweekly.com