All credit cards issued for consumer credit purposes are protected under Civil Code section 1747.08, even if sometimes used for business purposes

Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., 51 Cal. 4th 524 (2011) added some clarity to the types of personal identification information protected from collection by merchants.  As it turns out, section 1747.08 of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 (SBCCA) (Civ. Code, § 1747 et seq.) even precludes collection of zipcodes.  But Pineda didn't answer every unresolved question related to SBCCA-based claims.  In Archer v. United Rentals, Inc. (May 19, 2011), the Court of Appeal considered several issues surrounding the SBCCA, described as follows:

This appeal presents these significant issues: (1) Have plaintiffs established standing to pursue a UCL claim by demonstrating they "suffered injury in fact and . . . lost money or property as a result of the unfair competition" (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17204); (2) does the privacy protection of Civil Code section 1747.08 cover the use of a business credit card; (3) does such protection extend to a cardholder who uses a personal credit card regardless of whether such use is "primarily" or "occasionally" for business purposes; and (4) is class certification foreclosed by the unreasonableness of ascertaining class membership?

Slip op., at 2.  The Court of Appeal answered "no" to the first two questions, but reversed the trial court on the third when the Court concluded that a personal credit card was protected under the SBCCA, regardless of how often it was used for business purposes.  Having ruled as it did on the third issue, the Court then remanded for reconsideration of the ascertainability question, since the trial court's orginal ruling turned on the need to evaluate the frequency with which a credit card was used for business purposes.

The Court relied upon Kwikset Corp. v. Superior Court, 51 Cal. 4th 310 (2011) when it concluded that violation of SBCCA, alone, was insufficient to establish the requisite injury under the UCL.

Today, June 13, 2011, the Court issued a modification to its Order.  The modification adds a paragraph on the issue of standing to appeal:

Defendants contend plaintiffs lack standing to appeal the order denying class certification because they are not aggrieved by the trial court’s rulings in that they each were awarded $250 and “they should have moved for the substitution of new class representatives who do, in fact, have standing to appeal.” We disagree because plaintiffs were denied certification of their class claims. Issues regarding proper class representatives are for the trial court to address on remand. (Troyk v. Farmers Group, Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1305, 1351, fn. 35.)

June 13, 2011 slip op., at 1.