Court Nixes ZIP Code Queries



The California Supreme Court ruled Feb. 10 that requesting a customer’s ZIP code violates privacy laws. California resident Jessica Pineda filed Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores in 2008 after buying an item at Williams-Sonoma and providing her ZIP code at the cashier’s request. According to the court, the store subsequently used software to match the plaintiff’s name with her unpublished address, creating a database later used to market products and sold to other businesses. The court concluded that ZIP codes constitute “personal identification information” and noted the state’s So
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