Retailers have an interest in knowing who their customers are and what they like buying. Some retailers request information like ZIP codes from their customers in order to determine other information about them to use in their marketing and advertising efforts.
The California Supreme Court recently held that such requests, and the use of information culled from those requests, might expose retailers to liability. Retailers confronted with lawsuits asserting such liability should look to their comprehensive general liability, directors and officers, and errors and omissions policies for "advertising injury" coverage. Insurance companies, however, often take an improperly narrow view of the broad advertising injury insurance coverage included in CGL policies. Understanding advertising injury coverage and other liability insurance allows policyholders to access valuable insurance coverage for privacy violation claims.