Telecom Signaling Industry News

TMCNet:  Calif. court lets online stores get personal data

[February 04, 2013]

Calif. court lets online stores get personal data

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SAN FRANCISCO -- A narrowly divided state Supreme Court ruled Monday that Apple Inc. and other online retailers can continue to require California customers making purchases with credit cards to provide personal information to combat fraud.

An Apple customer sued the Cupertino-based company in 2011 after he was required to submit his home address and phone number when using a credit card to purchase music. The lawsuit alleged that Apple violated a two-decade old California state law prohibiting traditional "brick-and-mortar" retailers from demanding such personal information to complete a credit card transaction.

The 4-3 ruling said that law doesn't apply to online companies because they need the data to combat identity theft and credit card fraud. They are unable to require photo identification during credit card transactions, which traditional retailers are permitted to do.

"Unlike a brick-and-mortar retailer, an online retailer cannot visually inspect the credit card, the signature on the back of the card, or the customer's photo identification," Justice Goodwin Liu wrote for the majority court.

Liu said state lawmakers were concerned only with brick-and-mortar retailers unnecessarily requiring personal information during credit card transactions when they adopted the law in 1990 when no one _ even Apple's legendary founder Steve Jobs _ envisioned the explosive growth of online commerce.

"In 1990, the idea of computerized transactions involving the sale and purchase of virtual products was beyond any legislator's imagination," Liu wrote. "Such technology was not even a twinkle in Steve Jobs's eye." Justice Joyce Kennard, one of three dissenters, said Monday's ruling leaves "Internet retailers free to demand personal identification information from their credit-card-using customers and to resell that information to others. The majority's decision is a major win for these sellers, but a major loss for consumers, who in their online activities already face an ever increasing encroachment upon their privacy." Apple declined comment. Eric Schreiber, an attorney who represented the Apple customer didn't return a phone call.

The Supreme Court two years ago unanimously ruled that Williams-Sonoma and other traditional retailers were wrong to require credit card customers to provide their ZIP codes. That ruling led to a flurry of class action lawsuits alleging brick-and-mortar stores with such policies violated the 1990 law, known as the the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. Later in 2011, the Legislature amended the credit card act to exempt gas stations from the ZIP code ruling, concluding those retailers needed the information to prevent fraud at the pump.

In his majority opinion, Justice Liu argued that the Legislature is free to once again amend the law to include online stores if lawmakers feel customers' privacy interests in refusing to divulge addresses and phone numbers outweigh Apple and other online stores battle against fraud.

(c) 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

[ Back To Telecom Signaling's Homepage ]

Featured Events

5G NA Signaling Day

November 14-16, 2016
Sheraton Dallas, Dallas, TX

Featured Webcasts

Securing The Signaling Interconnect: Oracle's Perspective On Recent Security Events

Today's telecommunications landscape is changing rapidly, and the "institution" of trust between networks that has been assumed over the decades is no longer relevant. We are now hearing of vulnerabilities in CSP interconnection points that have been known ...

Applications of Wi-Fi Calling

With all of the discussion about faster data access and richer content, it could be assumed that voice services no longer play an important role in the business model of the communications service provider. Join ReThink Technologies Research and Oracle Communications as we explore ...

Featured Whitepapers

Oracle Communications Diameter Signaling Router Main Differentiators

Diameter is the protocol used by network elements in LTE and 3G networks to enable and monetize services, such as voice, video and data. Diameter enables revenue-generating data services; including tiered data plans, loyalty programs, application specific QoS, content provider and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions ...

Multi-Layer Security Protection for Signaling Networks

The sanctity of mobile operators' networks and brands will depend greatly on their ability to deliver QoS guarantees to roaming and interconnect partners, while simultaneously protecting increasingly multimedia-savvy and socially connected ...

Featured Datasheets

Oracle Communications Diameter Signaling Router

Centralizing Diameter routing with cloud deployable Oracle Communications Diameter Signaling Router creates a secure signaling architecture that reduces the cost and complexity of the core network and enables elastic growth, interoperability and rapid introduction ...

Oracle Communications Mobile Security Gateway

The Oracle Communications Mobile Security Gateway is a high performance gateway that allows the Communications Service Provider (CSP) to cost effectively expand network coverage and increase capacity by incorporating Heterogeneous ...

Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server

As service providers drive their networks toward an all-IP and virtualized state, they require the means to design and deliver compelling high definition voice, video and multimedia offers via Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) ...

Featured Infographic