Monday, November 5, 2012

Apple leads legal battle over e-commerce vs. privacy rights in California Supreme Court

What gets me is that CA - and others -  are all up in arms when private companies collect information on people.  And what dastardly thing do these evil corporations want to do to you?  Sell you stuff!!

But when the government - be it local, state and federal - collects information on you...what is it for?  You never know until it happens.  And a lot of times it isn't good.

Hey, don't get me wrong.  I don't give companies any more info than I have to.  I quit using Google Chrome for this very reason.  I won't use gmail either except for targeted uses. But we need to get our priorities straight.

"This case is an early warning sign about what we're going to be seeing," said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, which is not involved in the legal battle. "There is a balance that needs to be found between the prevention of fraud and the overcollection of consumer information."

The Supreme Court case is the latest in a line of legal tangles over the issue. In 2011, the state's high court ruled that traditional stores, in that case Williams-Sonoma, violated the Song-Beverly Act by collecting ZIP codes from customers, saying it was unnecessary to verify credit card purchases. That led to dozens of class action lawsuits against retailers accused of collecting that information.
I remember the hysteria over the zip code.  The whole thing seemed overblown to me.

Last year, lawyers filed class actions against Apple, eHarmony and Ticketmaster, seeking to apply the same law to online commerce. In the Apple case, a Southern California man, David Krescent, became the lead plaintiff when he alleged he was forced to provide his address and phone number to establish an iTunes account, saying it was not necessary to confirm his credit card information and thus violated the 1991 California law.

"Consumers have a right to privacy," said Eric Shrieber, Krescent's attorney. "If a business doesn't need it, why should a consumer be forced to give it up?"
Guys and gals, I'm sorry... but to include eHarmony in the violation of privacy?  This is a joke, right?  eHarmony is an online dating service that would ask you all sorts of personal details about your life to match you up with your "soul mate"..  What is more personal and private than that??

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