In a decision filed September 27, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a California district court’s refusal to certify a class action alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”). The Ninth Circuit ruled that none of the three grounds advanced below – the disproportionality between the potential liability and the actual harm suffered, the enormity of the potential damages, or the defendant’s good faith compliance with FACTA after being sued – justified denying class certification on superiority grounds. The Ninth Circuit’s decision narrows, if not eliminates, the potential for disagreement among district courts on an issue that has for some time been a fly in the ointment for class action plaintiffs (and their attorneys) hoping for big paydays on account of harmless technical violations of FACTA.
On August 10, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an earlier ruling by the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division that email order confirmations are not “electronically printed” receipts under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Shlahtichman v.1-800 Contacts Inc., Case… Continue Reading
On February 3, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania preliminarily approved a class action settlement between Aramark Sports, LLC and a class of approximately 5,000 customers who made credit or debit card purchases from stores at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If approved, the proposed settlement would resolve allegations made by the plaintiffs that Aramark violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act’s (“FACTA”) truncation requirements by electronically printing receipts that contained (a) more than the last 5 digits of the plaintiffs’ credit or debit card numbers and/or (b) the expiration date of such cards.
Judge John W. Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division held that FACTA’s prohibition against the electronic printing of a debit or credit card’s expiration date on receipts was inapplicable to e-mail order confirmations.
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced today that, for the third time, it will delay enforcement of the Red Flags Rule until November 1, 2009 – a year after the original November 1, 2008 compliance deadline. In delaying enforcement yet again, the Commission stated that it intends to engage in an “expanded business education campaign” in… Continue Reading
Section 315 of FACTA requires institutions that utilize consumer reports (“users”) to develop and follow certain procedures when notified of an address discrepancy by a national CRA (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Under FACTA, national CRAs are required to issue a “notice of address discrepancy” when an address provided by a user requesting a consumer report “substantially… Continue Reading
On Thursday, the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Trade Commission issued a set of FAQs to assist financial institutions, creditors, users of consumer reports, and card issuers in complying with the Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Rules under FACTA.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibit, among other things, the printing of expiration dates on receipts presented to credit or debit card holders. Two recent cases from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Smith v. Zazzle.com, Inc. (see our blog post… Continue Reading
On December 8, 2008, in Smith v. Zazzle.com Inc., No. 08-22371-CIV-KING, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101050 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 9, 2008) Judge James Lawrence King of the Southern District of Florida held FACTA’s credit card number truncation requirement inapplicable to receipts displayed on-screen or printed by online customers. Judge King dismissed the case on this… Continue Reading
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently announced that it will not enforce the new Red Flag Rules until May 1, 2009, giving financial institutions and creditors an additional six months to comply by developing and implementing a written identity theft prevention program. In an Enforcement Policy Statement released on October 22, 2008, the FTC acknowledged… Continue Reading
Section 214 of Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) was enacted to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “Act”) to give consumers the right to restrict certain entities from using certain information received from their affiliates to make solicitations to that consumer unless the consumer has been provided (1) “clear and conspicuous” notice that the consumer’s information will be shared for such purposes, and (2) an opportunity to opt out of having such information shared for such purposes.
On November 7, 2007, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration issued a joint final rule (along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), which separately adopted and proposed, respectively, similar regulations) under the amended Act (the “Affiliate Marketing Rule” or “Final Rule,” codified at 12 C.F.R. Parts 41, 222, 334, 571 and 717) governing the use of specific consumer information obtained by covered entities from their affiliates for certain marketing purposes.
The Affiliate Marketing Rule became effective on January 1, 2008, and compliance by covered entities is required by October 1, 2008.
According to regulations published by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal banking agencies, covered companies that hold any customer accounts must implement identity theft prevention programs that identify and detect “Red Flags” signaling possible identity theft. Companies establishing such programs must create policies and procedures not only to recognize and detect Red Flags, but also to respond to Red Flags by preventing or mitigating potential identity theft. Furthermore, companies must develop reasonable policies and procedures to verify the identity of a customer opening an account, and must also periodically update their identity theft programs. The rules went into effect on January 1, 2008, and businesses must comply by November 1, 2008.
New amendments to the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act (“FACTA”) (itself an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)) bar consumers from alleging willful violation and seeking statutory damages based on the printing of credit card expiration dates on receipts where the account number is otherwise properly truncated in accordance with FACTA. This development means the end is near for scores of class action lawsuits filed last year.
The Southern District of Florida has held that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FACTA), applies to both electronic receipts from online purchases and receipts printed in stores. In Grabein v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., 07-22235-CIV, 2008 WL 343179 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 29, 2008), Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit after he used a credit card to purchase flowers… Continue Reading
On December 18, the FTC announced a settlement in its 15th case (and its first in 13 months) addressing the data security practices of companies handling sensitive consumer information. American United Mortgage Company agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty for failing to implement reasonable safeguards to protect customer information and failing to provide customers with privacy notices.
Since December 4, 2006, consumers have filed dozens of class actions against retailers and other businesses across the country alleging “willful” violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), prohibiting the printing of more than five digits, or the expiration date, of a credit card on receipts provided to the customer. Defendants in those cases have been waiting anxiously for the Supreme Court to rule in Safeco Insurance Co. of America, et al. v. Burr, et al., 551 U.S. _____ (2007), a factually inapposite matter in which the Court granted certiorari to determine whether “reckless disregard” suffices for willfulness under the statute. In a decision that raises as many questions as it answers, the Supreme Court held on June 4, 2007 that “reckless” failure to comply with FCRA can be considered willful. The Court’s opinion begs the question whether it was objectively reasonable for retailers to continue the printing of expiration dates on customer receipts after FACTA took full effect.