This post was written by Joshua Marker.

Catalog and retail marketing in California just got a little bit trickier. No longer can retailers require that a customer provide a ZIP code to complete a credit card transaction, and this may impede the ability of many retailers to generate in-store marketing leads. On February 10, 2011, the California Supreme Court held that the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (“the Act”) covers key components of an individual’s address as ‘personal identification information’ in a credit card transaction.

In that case, Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., No. S178241, Williams-Sonoma’s practice of collecting individual’s ZIP codes when completing a credit card transaction was at issue. Williams-Sonoma collected these ZIP codes for credit card verification purposes and developed a retail marketing lead list from its in-store transactions. The California Supreme Court found that this practice violated Section 1747.08(a)(2) of the Act, as ZIP codes are ‘personal identification information’ covered by the Act, and the collection of that information was thus prohibited.Continue Reading California Reins in Retail Marketing