February 12, 2011

The Right to Keep Your ZIP Code to Yourself

The California Supreme Court says you can.

Stores Can’t Ask For Customer ZIP Codes: CA Supreme Court

By Scott Weber, NBCBayArea.com
updated 2/10/2011 6:45:30 PM ET

Customers who use their credit cards at stores can no longer be asked for their ZIP code, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the state’s high court concluded that person’s personal information includes his or her ZIP code and that California’s Credit Card Act prohibits a merchant from asking for it.

The class-action case was brought by Jessica Pineda against Williams-Sonoma.

Wait, who shops at Williams-Sonoma who doesn’t want to brag about their ZIP code?  Well, maybe the people who had to trade down to less exclusive environs better suited to Crate and Barrel, or Target.  Maybe they can’t afford 94024 anymore, but they can still buy a $40 bottle of olive oil.

imageMy god, the woman who sued Williams-Sonoma was incensed that they were using her ZIP Code “for marketing purposes.”  Oh noes!  Next thing you know, they will want her name so they can send her an unsolicited catalog.

Well, now you can buy that olive oil without having to admit you live in 95008 (Campbell), or fearing you’ll be put on the Pottery Barn mailing list instead of Frette, due to your ZIP code. You have the right to not disclose it, so either wear it proudly or keep it to yourself.

Of course if you keep it to yourself, others will assume you live in 95002.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am