Email Receipt is Not Good Enough, Court Rules

E-commerce businesses might have concerns about their ordinary online sales transactions, in light of a new court ruling limiting the effect of email receipts. In Simonoff v. Expedia, Inc. , the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that, where a federal law requires that merchants limit the disclosure of credit card information on printed receipts, an email receipt is not a “printed receipt.” But the court’s ruling pertains only to cases brought under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). This is a fairly narrow federal law. FACTA prohibits anyone that accepts credit cards from “print(ing) more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.” Also, the court in Simonoff granted a dismissal to the defendant, Expedia. Simonoff accused Expedia of disclosing Simonoff’s credit card expiration date in an emailed acknowledgment, thus exposing Simonoff to possible identify theft. Since Expedia only sent Simonoff an email, the court ruled, there was no “printing,” and thus no application of this particular federal law. The Simonoff case did not involve a point of sale transaction, or an actual printed receipt. In fact, the court made the point that Congress apparently intended to affect only bricks-and-mortar retailers, not online merchants. The court spelled it out: “the implementation provision (of FACTA) applies only to machines that generate physical receipts.” In the face of this new court ruling, Congress might decide to change the language of the law. But as of today, the only effect this ruling has would be to limit the printing of full credit card numbers on actual, physical receipts. Check with your own attorney for local rules. But online merchants’ email receipts would appear to be unaffected by this new court ruling, unless merchants print actual, physical receipts for customers. Related Resources: Simonoff v. Expedia, Inc. (FindLaw) Expedia Wins Case, Online Receipts Exempt from FACTA (FindLaw’s Ninth Circuit News and Information) The Internet and E-Commerce for Small Business (FindLaw) Are Online Screen Shots Electronic Receipts for Purposes of the Federal Law Known As FACTA? Why the Right Answer Is “No” (FindLaw’s Writ)

Continued here:
Email Receipt is Not Good Enough, Court Rules

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.