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CA Zip Code Ruling Incites Flurry of Class Actions

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

March 7, 2011

Privacy Advisor Exclusive
In the month's time since the California Supreme Court decided that zip codes are personal information, 106 class-action lawsuits have been filed. That's because the presiding justices ruled that the law would apply retroactively, putting every retailer that has collected zip codes during credit card transactions since the Beverly-Song Act of 1971 at risk for liability. In this Privacy Advisor exclusive, experts discuss the potential implications of the Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma decision. Among them, Linda Woolley of the Direct Marketing Association says the case is "very troubling" and has "great implications for what marketers do in terms of data collection," while Martin Abrams of the Center for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams says the court's decision is the "wrong approach."
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