"Shine the Light" on Marketers: Find Out How They Know Your Name


Fact Sheet 4a"Shine the Light" on Marketers:
Find Out How They Know Your Name

These days you realize that it is no coincidence that junk mail and solicitations come tailored to your individual interests. What you may be in the dark about is whether it is your magazine subscription, gym, or bank that is responsible for sharing your information with other companies.

If you are a California resident, the "Shine the Light" law, implemented January 1, 2005, requires businesses to tell you with whom they have shared your information. (CA Civil Code 1798.83)  Read our guide to find how who has accessed your personal information and how to opt-out of of future sharing.  You can also learn what rights you have if a business refuses to disclose the source of the information they have on you.

What Personal Information Should You Give to Merchants?


Fact Sheet 15What Personal Information Should You Give to Merchants?

Merchants generally want as much information as possible about their customers so they can more precisely target offers to them. But in our information-centric society, where billions of bits of information can easily be collated and distributed, it’s not necessarily in consumers’ interest to have a lot of their personal data accessible. Seemingly innocuous customer information obtained from consumers at the cash register or online can be combined with data from other sources to obtain a surprisingly detailed portrait of an individual customer. 

Is it possible that in the not-too-distant future an insurance company could check the choices you make at the grocery store and penalize you if you bought, say, cigarettes or high-fat foods? Or, could law-enforcement officials scan store records to see if you acquired materials that could have been used in a crime?

The answer to the second question is “yes”.

Employment Background Checks in California: A Focus on Accuracy


Fact Sheet 16aEmployment Background Checks in California:
A Focus on Accuracy

Electricity and Your Privacy: Deregulation in California


Fact Sheet 22Electricity and Your Privacy:
Deregulation in California

California Court Ruling Strengthens Consumer Privacy


On Feb. 10, 2011, the California Supreme Court ruled that retail stores are not allowed to request and record a consumer's zip code as part of a credit card transaction. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the Consumer Federation of California, that jointly filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on this case, the ruling gives further protection to California consumers and helps prevent unlawful use of personal identification information (PII).

Is Your Client Prepared To Comply with the Data Security Breach Notification Laws? (Mansfield)


California adopted the first data security breach notification law, codified at Cal. Civ. Code Section 1798.80 et seq., effective July 1, 2003. nearly 40 other states have since adopted similar laws modeled after, but not the same as, the California law. Presently pending in Congress are several bills that would adopt a variant of the California model on a nationwide basis, including the Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act of 2007, S.239 (introduced January 10, 2007).

An Increase in Employee Background Checks Strains an Already Weak (Flint)


Two easily identifiable problems with the increased use of background checks are the potential for errors and past mistakes haunting people for far too long.  But, in addition to these problems, there are societal concerns about lack of privacy, ceding judgment to a computer database, and potential over-reliance on a person’s past behavior.

Comments to the California Department of Insurance Proposed Regulations ER05043832: Property Loss Databases


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is please to write in support of the Department’s continuing efforts to protect California consumers from adverse insurance decisions based on error ridden claims history reports. A steady stream of consumer complaints filed with the Department as well as the PRC’s experience with consumer concerns make further action by the Department both justified and necessary.

Criminal Identity Theft in California: Seeking Solutions to the "Worst Case Scenario"


Criminal identity theft occurs when an imposter gives another person’s name and personal information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth, to a law enforcement officer upon arrest or during an investigation. Or the imposter may give to law enforcement a counterfeit driver’s license or identification card containing another person’s information.  Read Beth Given's presentation at the Identity Theft Summit in 2005.

Private Investigators in California: Analysis of the PIA and Case Law (Caragozian)


Lawyers often engage private investigators for sensitive assignments, such as conducting surveillance, obtaining admissions, and finding assets. Many lawyers do not know how investigators perform their work; other lawyers do not want to know. However, ignorance may not be bliss for California lawyers and investigators. In fact, it can be dangerous.

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