High Court Lets Online Stores Get Personal Data

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A narrowly divided California Supreme Court has refused to block Apple Inc. and other online retailers from requiring customers using credit cards to provide their home addresses and phone numbers.

The 4-3 ruling Monday said that a California law prohibiting traditional retailers from asking for that information does not apply to online stores. The court ruled that Apple and other online retailers need the information to combat identity theft and credit card fraud.

Traditional retailers are allowed to require some form of photo identification for credit card purchases to fight fraud, something unavailable to online companies.

The three dissenting justices called the ruling a major loss for consumers and an encroachment on their privacy.