Business owners globally, especially large businesses, has the tendency to illegally obtain user data. Most of these companies subsequently have to face lawsuits as the information gets to the public. However, what is the price for illegally obtaining users’ location data? It appears that Canadian company, Tim Hortons has the answer. Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee chain has been hit with a series of lawsuits over the collection of users’ geographic location data. The company is now offering an unusual compensation plan – users will receive free coffee and dessert. Really? coffee and deserts as compensation? This feels more like the infamous £40 Million + £1 bid for Luis Suarez by Arsenal back in 2013.
Tim Hortons have to face four class-action lawsuits in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario, alleging that Tim Hortons collects geographic location data on its users and seeks damages for privacy violations. Generally, class action awards are large sums of money that a number of claimants will share. Tim Hortons’ approach is more direct, the company said: “We are happy to have a tentative settlement where eligible users will receive free hot drinks and free dessert, but the plan needs the approval of the court.”
Free coffee and dessert, a fair settlement – Tim Hortons
“All parties agree that this is a fair settlement, and we look forward to the Quebec Superior Court’s ruling on this proposal. We are confident that the settlements will be acceptable by the courts in British Columbia and Ontario…”
Tim Hortons is accused of collecting user geolocation data between April 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. The company intends to permanently delete the data and has instructed third-party vendor Radar Labs to do so as well. Tim Hortons also stressed that “the allegations made in the class action have not been proven in court, and the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing“. However, Canadian regulators in June accused Tim Hortons of violating Canadian law by collecting data. Compensation for users includes points for hot drinks at a retail price of C$6.19 (about $4.75). It also includes points for baked goods (excluding tax) at a retail price of C$2.39 (about $1.85).