Credit Receipts From Rite Aid, Wendy's, Fedex
Draw Fire for Containing Certain Consumer Data
By ROBIN SIDEL
April 28, 2007; Page B1
Consumers are pulling out their plastic for everyday purchases more
than ever, and now the nation's retailers are coming under legal
assault for printing too much payment-card information on customer
So far this year, plaintiffs' lawyers have filed more than 100 federal
lawsuits seeking class-action status against big merchants such as
Rite Aid Corp., Wendy's International Inc., FedEx Corp., TJX Cos. and
Inter Ikea Systems BV. Also in the line of fire are lesser-known
regional restaurant chains such as In-N-Out Burger and Melting Pot
A slew of suits brought on behalf of consumers have been filed in
recent weeks in U.S. district courts in California, Pennsylvania, and
Merchants are under pressure to help ensure the security of electronic
transactions. Still, most of the nation's retailers don't comply with
the card industry's myriad rules that prohibit the storage of certain
customer data and require the installation of sophisticated firewalls
to protect their computer systems.
Earlier this year, TJX, parent of discount clothing chains T.J. Maxx
and Marshalls, disclosed that its computers had been hacked in a
security breach that left at least 47.5 million of its customers
vulnerable to fraud.
The requirement that retailers cut off card data is part of the Fair
and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which sought to protect
consumers from fraud and identity theft amid the growing use of
electronic payments. Although it was enacted more than three years
ago, the law gave retailers some breathing room to make the change.
In addition to the receipt requirements, the law also gives consumers
the right to obtain a credit report, without charge, every 12 months.
As of Dec. 4, retailers are prohibited from printing more than the
last five digits of a credit-card or debit-card account number on
receipts that are handed to customers. The receipts also can't include
the account's expiration date. The law applies only to electronically
printed receipts, rather than those that are written by hand or
imprinted on old-fashioned manual machines.