Foot Locker Retail Inc. and Macy’s Corporate Services, Inc. were hit with separate class action lawsuits in California federal court alleging that the companies illegally collected consumers’ personal information at in-store checkouts.  The plaintiffs claim that both businesses required customers to provide personal information such as telephone numbers, identification cards, and ZIP codes before processing a credit card payment.  The complaints further allege that the retailers had a uniform policy in place requiring employees to request such information.  The plaintiffs contend that this form of data mining violates California privacy laws, including the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971.

According to the suits, California law prohibits a merchant from performing the following during a transaction:

(1) requesting personal identification information from a customer paying for goods with a credit card, and then recording that personal identification information on the credit card transaction form or elsewhere; or (2) requiring the cardholder, as a condition to accepting the credit card as payment, to provide the customer’s personal identification information, which the retailer then causes to be written or otherwise records it on the credit card transaction form or elsewhere.

The plaintiffs expect damages in each suit to top $5 million.