Tim Hortons mobile data usage application to be investigated by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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Tim Hortons is a Canadian authorities privacy survey after media reports have raised concerns about how its smartphone app can collect and use data on the movements of people while they go about their daily business .The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, along with similar authorities in Quebec, BC and Alberta, said on Monday the launch of an investigation into whether or not the mobile enterprise command and control the payment application obeys the laws that govern the security of consumers’ personal information.

Federal law governing privacy matters is known as the Protection of Personal Information and Electronic Documents, or PIPEDA.

Earlier this month, the Financial Post newspaper reported on the application of the use of geolocation technology, which allows the application to silently monitor a user’s location information and digital activities , even when they are not actively using the app.

The Post reporter asked his user for company data under PIPEDA, and discovered that the app was kept from wherever he went, even when the app was not in use. in use, and transmission of data to Tim Hortons.

The “great importance”

In a statement, the office’s privacy commissioner said it will seek to know if Tim Hortons “is to obtain valid consent from the app for users to collect and use their data geolocation for purposes which could include the accumulation and detailed use of user profiles, and whether this collection and use of data is appropriate in the circumstances. ”

“The federal privacy office of the Commissioner considers this to be an issue of great importance to Canadians, given the confidentiality of the issues it raises. Geolocation data can be very sensitive because it can reveal information about the habits and activities of people, for example, medical visits or places they frequent. ”

In a news release from CBC News, Tim Hortons said it will cooperate with any investigation, but vigorously disputed allegations that the app is doing something that users are not aware of.

“Since Tim Hortons launched our mobile app, our guests have had a choice, if they share location data with us, including the ‘always sharing location data – an option offered by many companies on their own apps , “A spokesman for the chain said.

“We recently updated the Tim Hortons app to limit location data collection to only while guests have our app open, even if a customer checked” always “in the device settings. “

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