Andrew Hoffman writes:
California and 14 other states plus the District of Columbia have laws that restrict the collection of personal information at the point of sale when payment is by credit card. Unfortunately for retailers, the scope of prohibited conduct under these laws is not always clear. Complicating matters further, these laws were generally enacted in the early 1990s, but are now being applied to retail practices that could not have been contemplated at the time the statutes were enacted. For instance, plaintiffs have sued under these laws to address modern retail practices, such as rewards or customer loyalty programs, e-receipts, unmanned kiosks, and the collection of ZIP codes for CRM purposes. Plaintiffs have also argued – unsuccessfully so far in California under the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act – that these laws apply online. Litigation under these laws is increasing, following consumer-friendly decisions from the California and Massachusetts high courts. This article provides an overview of the current state of the law on point of sale data collection laws, including recent and pending litigation, and makes predictions regarding where the law is heading.
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