Thursday, July 7

Pulling back the curtain on Tim Hortons’ privacy breach


Episode 155 of Down to Business podcast

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What does it mean when Tim Hortons, which describes itself as part of the fabric of Canada, whose business boils down to coffee and doughnuts, is collecting so much data on its customers that it’s in hot water with the country’s privacy commissioners?

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It’s a question that former Financial Post reporter James McLeod discusses this week on Down to Business.

McLeod, who left journalism in 2020 and now advocates on behalf of the Canadian tech sector, started investigating Tim Hortons’ data collection practices after downloading their app on his smartphone in 2019.

Eventually, he obtained a copy of all the data the company had collected on him, and wrote about it for the Financial Post. The company collected far more than what he consented to, and this month a joint investigation by federal and provincial privacy commissioners found the company had violated privacy laws.

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financialpost.com