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California Supreme Court Holds that ZIP Codes are “Personal Identification Information”

California Supreme Court Holds that ZIP Codes are “Personal Identification Information”

In a broadly-worded unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court recently overruled lower court decisions to hold that businesses cannot request and record ZIP codes as a condition to credit card transactions, because ZIP codes are “personal identification information” under the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 (the “Credit Card Act”). Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., S178241 (Cal. Supreme Court, Feb. 10, 2011). More generally, the Court implicitly recognized the impact on consumers of aggregating and matching their personal data from vast databases.

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