Vendors who share customers’ personal identifying information (name, email address, phone number, zip code, etc.) is a major issue in the world of consumer law today. Vendors (particularly online and mobile vendors) are often tempted to take a customer’s payment information and then sell it to a third party after the transaction has been completed. That third party can then use the customer’s information however they want.
Because of consumers’ numerous complaints about the flagrant mishandling of their personal information, many companies have begun either revealing in their Terms of Service contracts that they might distribute a customer’s personal information, or promising not to reveal their customers’ personal information to a third party, unless it’s required to complete a transaction, or for legal reasons. When given an option between a vendor that sells personal information and a similar vendor that maintains their customers’ privacy, most customers will choose the vendor that respects their privacy.