California court bars retailers from asking customers for ZIP codes

New York City -- The California Supreme Court says merchants in the state can no longer ask credit-card customers for their ZIP codes, the Associated Press reported.

The high court ruled unanimously on Thursday that asking for ZIP codes violates a longstanding California law passed to protect the privacy of credit-card users.

The decision came in a lawsuit against Williams-Sonoma, whose clerk asked Jessica Pineda for her ZIP code several years ago, the report said. Pineda sued the company in 2008, alleging the retailer violated the credit-card law and her privacy.

The court said that the retailer's request violated provisions of the law passed in 1990 that protects consumers from divulging personal identification information.

The ruling overturned an appeals court decision tossing out the lawsuit.

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