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Reasonable Expectation Legal Blog Focusing On Privacy and Data Security Issues


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds that ZIP Codes Constitute “Personal Identification Information”

On March 11, 2013, in Melissa Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC"), in responding to three certified questions from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, held: (1) ZIP Codes constitute personal identification information ("PII"); (2) a person may bring an action under General Laws, chapter 93, section 105(a) absent identity fraud; and (3) the term "credit card transaction form" "refers equally to electronic and paper transaction forms." The questions arose out of a class action lawsuit against Michaels for allegedly requesting and recording its credit card customers' ZIP Codes in violation of Section 105(a). This decision has parallels to the California Supreme Court decision in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc. In Pineda, the California Supreme Court held that ZIP Codes were PII under California's Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Civil Code section 1747.08.

Source: Cooley Alert


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