Tim Hortons is being investigated by Canadian privateness authorities after media stories raised considerations about how its smartphone app could also be accumulating and utilizing information on folks’s actions as they go about their each day actions.
The Workplace of the Privateness Commissioner of Canada, alongside comparable authorities in Quebec, B.C. and Alberta, mentioned Monday it can launch an investigation into whether or not or not the corporate’s cell ordering and fee app obeys legal guidelines that govern the safety of customers’ private info.
The federal regulation governing privateness points is called the Private Data Safety and Digital Paperwork Act, or PIPEDA.
Earlier this month, the Monetary Submit newspaper reported on the app’s use of geolocation know-how, which allows the app to silently monitor a consumer’s whereabouts and digital actions, even when they don’t seem to be actively utilizing the app.
The Submit reporter requested his consumer information from the corporate below PIPEDA, and found the app was maintaining a log of in all places he went, even when the app was not in use, and transmitting the information again to Tim Hortons.
In an announcement, the privateness commissioner’s workplace mentioned it can have a look at whether or not Tim Hortons “is acquiring significant consent from app customers to gather and use their geolocation information for functions which may embody the amassing and use of detailed consumer profiles, and whether or not that assortment and use of the information is acceptable within the circumstances.”
“The federal privateness commissioner’s workplace considers this to be a problem of nice significance to Canadians, given the privateness points it raises. Geolocation information may be very delicate as it might probably reveal details about the habits and actions of people, for instance, medical visits or locations that they repeatedly frequent.”
In an announcement to CBC Information, Tim Hortons says it can cooperate with any investigation, however strongly disputes the allegations that the app is doing one thing that customers aren’t conscious of.
“Since Tim Hortons launched our cell app, our visitors all the time had the selection of whether or not they share location information with us, together with ‘all the time’ sharing location information — an possibility provided by many firms on their very own apps,” a spokesperson for the chain mentioned.
“We not too long ago up to date the Tim Hortons app to restrict the gathering of location information to solely whereas visitors have our app open, even when a visitor has chosen ‘all the time’ of their gadget settings.”