California Supreme Court to Retailers: Stop With the ZIP Code Questions!

In Business Law, Fashion Law, Legal News by FASHIONENTLAW™

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“It always struck us as annoying, but harmless enough: retailers asking for your ZIP Code at the tail end of a transaction.

But the California Supreme Court now tells us such a maneuver violates consumers’ privacy. In a ruling issued Thursday pitting a woman who made a purchase at Williams-Sonoma in 2008 and the retailer, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Golden State retailers may no longer collect ZIP Codes from credit-card customers.

Click here for the WSJ story; here for the LA Times article; here for the San Francisco Chronicle article; here for the 17-page opinion.

The Supreme Court determined that ZIP Codes were “personal identification information” that merchants can’t demand from customers under a state consumer privacy law. Merchants typically use ZIP Codes to determine where their customers live and for other marketing purposes.

The plaintiff in the case, Jessica Pineda, of Menlo Park, claimed that the store used her name and ZIP Code to identify her address and then stored the information in a database for later marketing. She also contended that he store had the ability to sell her information to other businesses.

Williams-Sonoma argued that ZIP Codes did not provide personal information because they pertained to a group, not an individual.

The high court rejected the retailer’s assertions. . .” WSJ has the full story.

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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