On March 11, 2013, in Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively reinstated the suit against the retailer by answering favorably for the plaintiff three certified questions from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts regarding Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, Section 105(a) entitled “Consumer Privacy in Commercial Transactions” (“Section 105(a)”). The court ruled that (1) a ZIP code constitutes personal identification information under the Massachusetts law; (2) a plaintiff may bring an action for a violation of the Massachusetts law absent identity fraud; and (3) the term “credit card transaction form” refers equally to electronic and paper transaction forms. The Massachusetts court’s determination that a ZIP code constitutes personal identification information is similar to the determination in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., in which the California Supreme Court held that ZIP codes are “personal identification information” under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. More than 15 states, including Massachusetts and California, have statutes limiting the type of information that retailers can collect from customers.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Ruling Benefits Plaintiff in Zip Code Case

As reported in BNA’s Privacy & Security Law Report, on December 14, 2012, a federal district court in California ruled that a retail store’s policy of collecting personal information only after providing customers with receipts does not violate the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act.
Continue Reading California Ruling Permits Collection of ZIP Codes After Receipt Is Provided to Customer

On June 25, 2012, a federal district court in California ruled that the California Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Pineda v. Williams Sonoma applies retrospectively to OfficeMax’s collection of zip codes from its customers.
Continue Reading California Supreme Court’s Pineda Decision Applies Retrospectively to ZIP Code Collection Class Action Suit

On May 4, 2012, a federal court in California granted a motion for class certification in a suit alleging that IKEA violated the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 by requesting cardholder ZIP codes during credit card transactions, and then recording that information in its systems.
Continue Reading California District Court Certifies Class in ZIP Code Collection Suit

On January 6, 2012, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a customer-plaintiff’s complaint alleging that Michaels’ in-store information collection practices violated Massachusetts law. Although the court found that customer ZIP codes may constitute personal information for purposes of the law, it ruled that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate any cognizable injury.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Dismisses ZIP Code Suit for Failure to Allege a Cognizable Injury