Saturday, August 11, 2007

Apple Customers Risk Identity Theft

Apple Computer has been hit with a class action lawsuit
for violating provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(aka, F.C.R.A.) in revealing too much confidential
personal information on store receipts according to
a story from Information Week.


Sidenote, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is an old federal
law which is designed to protect consumers from abuses
by retailers and credit grantors.

As the story was reported, Apple's online store has
mistakenly been providing information protected by
a 2003 amendment to the F.C.R.A.:

...printing credit card expiration dates on Apple
Store online receipts.

This violates a 2003 amendment to
the FCRA which states: "No person
that accepts credit cards or debit cards
for the transaction of business shall print
more than the last five digits of the card
number or the expiration date upon any
receipt provided to the card holder at the
point of sale or transaction."

In addition, the copies of Apple electronic
receipts included as exhibits in the complaint
show -- or would show were the information
not redacted -- the purchaser's full name,
full
home address, full phone number
and full
e-mail address.

With this type of detailed, personal information
identity theft rings can easily and quickly scam
innocent victims by opening up phony credit
card accounts to make fraudulent
purchases.


So, our tip for today is for anyone who uses
Apple's online store. It would be wise to wait
a few weeks until Apple corrects this
error
before conducting purchase transactions
with their online store.

And for offline merchants who still print out credit
card purchases receipts including your full
account number (F.C.R.A. violation?), we refuse
to do business with them as the retail clerk can
easily print a duplicate receipt to go with
your
already provided signature.

Check back frequently for updates to this article.

Finally, make sure to also tell your friends about
this important identity theft prevention tip.

1 Comments:

At 10:15 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

This story should make you wonder out loud: why is it that a successful firm such as Apple Computer leave itself so wide open to 4 year amendment to a consumer protection law that has been on the books for even longer?

 

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