Shell found not liable for alleged credit card receipt violations
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals in Chicago found
Shell not liable for improper
handling of credit card receipts.
A lawsuit alleged that Shell – an energy and petrochemicals provider – was in violation of regulations regarding credit card receipts by printing the last four digits of a customer's account number on its receipts, reports Reuters.
Plaintiff Natalie van Straaten did not allege that these practices were putting customers at risk for identity theft nor did she claim any damages due to these violations.
However, Straaten did claim that Shell was printing four-digit numbers on its receipts and that this practice was illegal based on industry standards. Along with this, Straaten accused Shell of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Every violation of this law is punishable by a penalty of $100 or more.
While a federal judge in Chicago allowed this court case to continue, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Shell not guilty of improper credit card receipt processing.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago stated that Shell's printing of four-digit account numbers was legal according to the Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which permits the printing of the last five digits of a credit card number.
"We need not essay a definition of 'card number' as an original matter, because we can't see why anyone should care how the term is defined," stated Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Panel. "A precise definition does not matter as long as the receipt contains too few digits to allow identity theft."
Shell has now changed its practice of printing four numerals and prints zero digits instead.