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One of the more active areas of privacy-related litigation concerns Zone Improvement Plan codes, or “ZIP codes,” in use since 1963. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a spate of actions alleging that merchants which ask customers to provide their ZIP codes when paying with a credit card violate state statutes designed to protect personal identification information. So far these lawsuits have been concentrated in California and Massachusetts where favorable precedent exists, but in June of this year the first such putative class action was filed in the District of Columbia against retailers Urban Outfitters, Inc. and Anthropologie, Inc.  This test case could expand substantially privacy class action exposure for merchants in the District of Columbia. More broadly, the case has important implications for whether ZIP code litigation will spread to other jurisdictions with similar laws or is already near its high water mark

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