Apple has been getting a lot of media attention recently, and not for its products. The corporate giant recently went up against the United State Supreme Court in a battle for information, and won. What does this mean? Read on to learn more.
The court case and decision. In the Apple Inc. versus Superior Court battle, Apple argued that online retailers should be able to ask customers for personal identifying information (telephone number and address) before completing credit card purchase transactions for the download of digital products. Namely, this concerned iTunes purchases, which just recently reached the 25 billionth song download marker and shows no signs of slowing down. The court ruled in favor of Apple, concluding that the practice of collecting this information is not in violation of California state law. This is a turnaround from a previous court ruling in favor of penalizing businesses for such data collection.
The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971. Many arguments against Apple’s case cited the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971. This California-based legislation ruled that merchants are not allowed to require customers to provide personal identifying information in order to complete credit card transactions. The California Supreme Court ruled that this act does not apply to online purchases of digital product downloads. However, this ruling may also eventually extend to online purchases of physical products and services.
Why is this information important? You may wonder why companies like Apple might need your personal information if all you want to do is download a song. What this is all about, and why this information is so pertinent to online financial transactions, is security against things like credit card fraud and identity theft; this has positive implications for both the company and for you. Therefore, what many people may see as a violation of privacy is actually a protective measure for everyone involved.
What does this mean for consumers? When it comes to making online purchases with your credit card, you may legally be required to provide a valid telephone number and/or address (this includes even parts of your address, such as your zip code, for example) in order to complete your credit card purchase transaction. This is just a slight inconvenience when compared to the risk of credit card fraud and identity theft inherent with online purchase transactions.
The implications of Apple’s win in court are quite possible more far-reaching than we may even be aware of. Only the future will tell just how many companies, whether online or brick-and-mortar, this game-changing court ruling will effect, and in what ways.
About the Author: Chuck Moceri owns an ecommerce site and can only dream of one day being as success with his products as Apple is. Visit here to learn more about how you can take your own ideas and build an online business.