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Under recent developments in state data privacy law, seemingly innocuous business practices can result in major liability for retailers.

Consider the following everyday scenario: A cashier in one of your retail stores swipes a customer’s credit card and asks the customer for her ZIP code. Without a second thought, the customer recites her ZIP code, and your cashier enters it into your electronic system. The customer leaves your store, and the cashier moves on to the next customer. Has your customer just become the newest class member in a potential class action? Is your company now a potential defendant in a class action seeking triple damages and attorneys’ fees for unfair and deceptive practices?

Unless your company has put appropriate policies and procedures in place, the answer to these questions is likely a resounding “Yes.”

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