Gene Stonebarger writes:
The California Legislature long ago recognized the dangers associated with collecting and maintaining consumers’ personal identification information, finding that the practice put the physical safety of consumers at risk and jeopardized consumers’ financial security due to identify theft and credit card fraud. In response, the Legislature enacted an amendment to the Song Beverly Credit Card Act in 1990 to protect privacy rights guaranteed to consumers by Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution. A recent State Court of Appeal ruling now threatens to open a loophole in this law, enabling retailers to collect detailed personal information on customers who pay with credit cards.
If the Pineda decision stands, retailers will be free to build their marketing databases with unsuspecting consumers who provide their zip codes believing they are necessary as a security measure to complete their credit card transactions. Justice cannot tolerate a situation where retailers are collecting zip codes from customers under the false pretense of needing them to process their credit card transactions, covertly capturing customers’ names from their credit cards, and then utilizing all of this information with advanced technology to specifically identify the customers’ home addresses.
Read more on California Progress Report.