My Zip Code is My Business, Not Yours, California

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Image by @@ i-cha-ri-ba-cho-de @@ via Flickr

Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.

One of the many odd things I noticed as I traveled through California during 2009 was the peculiar new invasion of personal privacy that occurred at the grocery check-out counter. After ringing up your groceries the clerk would ask you for your zip code when you began to pay. I would invariably reply:

1-2-3-4-5-6 or

blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah,

and then stare blankly at the poor befuddled clerk, who was usually someone long accustomed to doing whatever someone in authority told he or she to do, without ever stopping once to ponder why. They would try to explain the inane retail reason that my zip code was now needed to finish the transaction, upon which I would flatly reply:

“I have been buying groceries for at least 35 years. No one EVER needed my zip code to check me out before, and you don’t need it now. Wanna debate this? I think the courts will agree with me….”

And the clerk would agree it was silly, type zeros on the designated spot, ring me up and I was on my way.

Apparently at one particular local grocery store no one had mustered the courage to NOT comply with this newest invasion of privacy until I was observed refusing one day, and then the next 5 people in line refused also. I knew I was right, and I knew a court of law would agree. The courts have now caught up with me and they agree.

Big Lesson: It took one person saying “no” to yet another invasion of privacy for the next 6 people standing in line to realize that they too could say “no,” and so they did. I’m glad the California court system has done right by the people of California and that the courts agree with us. They have ruled that clerks may NOT require consumers in California to provide their zip code when they shop. Here’s the link.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0211-privacy-20110211,0,6098077.story

Know your legal and civil rights. And remember the power of “no” in numbers.

Chase Kyla Hunter

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6 comments

  1. Danny

    An interesting side note on your post. I was wanting to make a comment on a CBS news article I found through Google News. I read the article and decided to post a short comment. I created an account with cbsnews.com with my valid email address and information. I try to post a comment and it prompts me to enter my zip code to post. Well I didnt even feel comfortable doing that but I went ahead and entered it anyway. It told me “You seem to have entered the wrong ZIP code.” WTF??? I think I know my zip code. Why do “they” need to know my ZIP code. They have my email and my name. I would think that should be sufficient to simply post a reply to one of their stories. Its purely an invasion of privacy. It is the way of the government ran by the corporation. Mr Orwell… we hear ya buddy!!!

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