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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Staff Editorial

Banning asking for zip codes: seriously now?

Last week the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that it is illegal for retail stores to request customer zip codes during a transaction.

Stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Macy’s that have been collecting the information are now facing multiple lawsuits.

The court claims that it is unnecessary information and since it is part of the customer’s address, it is against the state consumer privacy law.

The reasoning is that the information is private and the stores have no right to request it as you check out.

The state’s ruling could roll over into other states — affecting millions. Consumers shouldn’t be enraged that stores are asking for the information, but instead should be more informed about why they are requesting the it in the first place.

Zip codes can be used as a security measure to ensure a credit card holder’s identity. The billing information cannot be found anywhere on the credit card, making it more difficult for you to be subject to fraud.

Additionally, stores use the information to help them decide where there is a need to open a new store. If there’s an increase from certain zip codes, it could lead to a more convenient location for you.

It seems that lately there has been an outcry for privacy protection, specifically from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. When websites, apps and advertisers pull your personal information, people tend to protest.

Everyone should stop and look at the bigger picture. When these places pull your age, gender, tastes and friends, they are using it to present you with personalized advertisements.

If you play Farmville, maybe you’ll like Cityville. If you’re a 20-year-old female, maybe you want a coupon for a designer dress as opposed to 50-year-old man who wouldn’t care. Instead, they can offer you something that you might actually want.

In a time where everyone wants things quickly and personalized, such tailored marketing and advertisements would better serve our needs and interests.

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