Court Rules Credit Card Customers Can Zip Their Lips About Home Zip Codes

We’ve all been there.  Waiting in line to pay and get out of the store, sliding our credit card through a machine, when a clerk at the cash registers asks us for our home zip code.  What if we refuse?

Well, we have a right to refuse. The California Supreme Court has held that a person’s zip code is “personal identification information” and that businesses cannot require a credit card customer to reveal it.  The court ruled in the context of a dispute involving the Williams-Sonoma chain which implicated a portion of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 that affords a measure of personal privacy to retail customers who pay with credit cards.  The case is Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc. and a copy is attached for your convenience.

At Slote & Links, we regularly counsel clients on privacy issues and other issues. Feel free to contact us if you have an issue that needs attention.

Business Law Topics: 
Litigation Topics: