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Why making purchases online can compromise your online priva

by anonymous

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 SACRAMENTO, CA -- Feb, 23nd, 2013 – If you are a California resident, you’re most likely are aware of the various consumer protection laws that are in effect in the state of California. Similarly, when you make a purchase from a retail store with your credit card, you know for a fact that the retail clerk cannot by law ask for your personal information, such as your address, phone number, or your email address -- this law is known as the Song-Beverly Act.


 A recent ruling by California’s Supreme Court earlier this month ruled in favor of Apple, ruling that laws that apply to online shopping do not follow under the Song-Beverly Act. Therefore, anyone thinking of purchasing music or videos on iTunes with a credit-card will have to disclose personal information about them. 


This ruling has infuriated various consumer rights groups, saying that this ruling in no way tackles the issue of online fraud, which is a leading cause for identity theft.  However, some experts say that most reputable online shopping websites have put in place effective security measure to prevent credit card fraud.


Online retailers are also notorious for recording consumer behavior; these retailers often keep records of your online purchasing preference which are then used to market similar products to returning online shoppers.


Following this ruling, iTunes shoppers’ are now concerned about their privacy. “After hearing about this case, I now worry my online privacy may be violated, the law is not on our side,” says Ella Paquette, who frequently purchases music and videos from the iTunes store.  “No retailer, whether online or at a brick and mortar retail store has the right to ask for your personal information,” says Ian Murphy, a resident of San Diego. Experts recommend that users can reduce their chances of becoming victims of credit card fraud by keeping confidential data secure with folder locking software and by consistently updating their antivirus/antispyware software.


According to Logan Westwood, an expert on online privacy who works for New, an information security organization, “In the coming years, online privacy will be a major concern for most web users, in fact most users have already abandoned the idea of using the web altogether for making purchases”


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