On July 21, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that places new restrictions on the collection and use of personal information by retail establishments for certain purposes. The statute, which is called the Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act, permits retail establishments in New Jersey to scan a person’s driver’s license or other state-issued identification card only for the following eight purposes: Continue Reading New Jersey Shopper Privacy Bill Signed into Law

On February 17, 2017, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (“Horizon”) agreed to pay $1.1 million as part of a settlement with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (the “Division”) regarding allegations that Horizon did not adequately protect the privacy of nearly 690,000 policyholders. Continue Reading Health Insurer Reaches Privacy Settlement with New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs

On February 6, 2017, the FTC announced that it has agreed to settle charges that VIZIO, Inc. (“VIZIO”), installed software on about 11 million consumer televisions to collect viewing data without consumers’ knowledge or consent. The stipulated federal court order requires VIZIO to pay $2.2 million to the FTC and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.  Continue Reading FTC Announces Settlement Regarding Collecting Consumer TV Viewing Data

On September 15, 2016, the New Jersey Senate unanimously approved a bill that seeks to limit retailers’ ability to collect and use personal data contained on consumers’ driver and non-driver identification cards. The bill, known as the Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act, must now be approved by the New Jersey Assembly. Continue Reading New Jersey Moves Forward With Shopper Privacy Bill

TCCWNA. The very acronym evokes head scratches and sighs of angst and frustration among many lawyers in the retail industry. You have probably heard about it. You may have even been warned about it. And you may currently be trying to figure out how best to minimize your risk and exposure this very moment. But what is it and why has virtually every retailer been hit with a TCCWNA class action demand letter or lawsuit in the past few months? And why are most retailers scrambling to update the terms and conditions of their websites? Continue Reading The New Wave of Consumer Class Actions Targeting Retailers: What is the TCCWNA?

On December 9, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (“Wyndham”) settled charges brought by the FTC stemming from allegations that the company unfairly failed to maintain reasonable data security practices. The case is FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, et al. (2:13-CV-01887-ES-JAD) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Continue Reading Wyndham Settles FTC Charges in FTC v. Wyndham

On November 22, 2013, New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General announced that the State had entered into a settlement agreement with Dokogeo, Inc. (“Dokogeo”), a California-based company that makes mobile device applications, regarding allegations that one of the company’s mobile apps violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”), the recently amended Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “Rule”) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

Continue Reading Another California-Based Mobile App Developer Settles with New Jersey AG’s Office Over Child Privacy Violation Allegations

On January 6, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted Michaels Stores, Inc.’s (“Michaels”) a motion to dismiss against a customer-plaintiff who alleged that Michaels’ in-store information collection practices violated Massachusetts law. Although the court ruled in Michaels’ favor, it found that customer ZIP codes do constitute personal information under Massachusetts state law when collected in the context of a credit card transaction. The plaintiff’s class action complaint alleged that “Michaels illegally requested customers’ ZIP codes when processing their credit card transactions in violation of” Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, Section 105(a) (“Section 105(a)”). Specifically, Section 105(a) states that “[n]o person, firm, partnership, corporation or other business entity that accepts a credit card for a business transaction shall write, cause to be written or require that a credit card holder write personal identification information, not required by the credit card issuer, on the credit card transaction form.”

Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Dismisses ZIP Code Suit for Failure to Allege a Cognizable Injury

Last month, two New Jersey judges issued opposing decisions in class action lawsuits regarding merchants’ point-of-sale ZIP code collection practices. The conflicting orders leave unanswered the question of whether New Jersey retailers are prohibited from requiring and recording customers’ ZIP codes at the point of sale during credit card transactions.

Continue Reading New Jersey Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings in ZIP Code Collection Cases

As reported in BNA’s Privacy Law Watch, on April 1, 2011, a New York law went in effect requiring manufacturers of certain electronic equipment, including devices that have hard drives capable of storing personal information or other confidential data, to register with the Department of Environmental Conservation and maintain an electronic waste acceptance program.  The program must include convenient methods for consumers to return electronic waste to the manufacturer and instructions on how consumers can destroy data on the devices before recycling or disposing of them.  Retailers of covered electronic equipment will be required to provide consumers with information at the point of sale about opportunities offered by manufacturers for the return of electronic waste, to the extent they have been provided such information by the manufacturer.

Continue Reading States Attempt to Address Privacy Risks Associated with Digital Copiers and Electronic Waste