News & Resources

Consumer credit data from online retailers is legal, C.A. rules

Feb 18, 2013 Walt Wojciechowski

Consumer credit data from online retailers is legal, C.A. rules

Consumer credit data companies in California received good news when the state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of online businesses being allowed to collect customer's volunteered information February 4.

While Mercury News reports lawmakers will undoubtedly work to change  the regulation in question, Justice Goodwin Liu announced the 4-3 ruling that deemed data related to credit card purchases online is not protected by a similar law regarding proper handling of such information in brick-and-mortar stores.

An activist who spoke with the KQED notes debt collection data companies may see an increase in business from retailers hoping to sell such information, which poses questions of legality that  organizations should stay clear of.

Rhys Williams, spokesperson for Senator Darrell Steinberg, told Mercury News lawmakers intend to increase protection of buyer information in revisions of the legislature.

"I think we need to look at the implications of the judgment and see its impact on consumers," he said. "And going forward, looking at what steps can be taken to balance consumer privacy and consumer security."

KQED reports a benefit to consumer credit data companies in the ruling, as noted by the court, is that holding consumer information can secure businesses against fraudulent payments because online retailers do not see the customer and card that is being used physically.