Tim Hortons will give people a free coffee and donut for harvesting their data

The company collected geolocation data between April 2019 and September 2020

Tim Hortons says it will give eligible customers who used their app a free hot beverage and a baked good as part of a proposed settlement agreement.

A joint investigation between Canada’s former privacy commissioner and his counterparts in several provinces found the chain’s Canadian operator, The TDL Group, collected geolocation data of customers who downloaded Tim Hortons’ mobile app between 2019 and 2022.

“In our view, Tim Hortons did not collect and use the granular location data in question for an appropriate purpose in the circumstances,” a report detailing the investigation stated.

Current laws meant Tim Hortons dodged disciplinary action, but it wasn’t able to escape a national class action lawsuit. In an email to impacted users, Tim Hortons says the proposed settlement is subject to court approval.

“Distribution details [for the free goods] will be provided following approval, in the event that the court approves the settlement,” the email reads.

Update 01/02/2023 6:43pm ET: The story’s headline has been updated to more accurately reflect former federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien’s and his provincial counterparts’ findings.