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:
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.
Know your legal and civil rights. And remember the power of “no” in numbers.
Chase Kyla Hunter
- California Court: Stores Can’t Ask for ZIP Codes (online.wsj.com)
- Calif. Court: Merchants Can’t Ask Patrons for ZIPs (abcnews.go.com)
- ZIP Code Questions At The Register: Court Rules On Side Of Consumer Privacy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Calif. court: Merchants can’t ask for ZIPs (boston.com)
- Stores that want your zip code: Annoying and illegal, court rules (seattlepi.com)
- Calif. court: Merchants can’t ask patrons for ZIPs (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Court Says California Stores Can’t Ask Customers For ZIP Codes (yro.slashdot.org)
- California high court: Retailers can’t request cardholders’ ZIP code (cnn.com)
- California mechants may not ask customers using credit cards for their ZIP codes, state Supreme Court rules (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Stores can’t ask for ZIP codes at time of purchase (sfgate.com)