• March 9, 2020
Facepalm (Caïn by Henri Vidal, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1896. )

For some years now, Minnesota Litigator been critical of a federal laws exposing financial institutions and businesses to serious liability for fairly inconsequential lapses or disclosures related to ATM fees and partial numbers on credit card receipts. (For example, disclosing the month a credit card expires but not the year on a credit card receipt is a violation of federal law, disclosing two digits of a credit card number (but not among the last four digits) on a credit card receipt is a violation of federal law, or warning of fees for non-bank customer ATM transactions on the ATM digital screens but not including such warnings physically and conspicuously on the ATM machines themselves is a violation of federal law).

Don’t get us wrong. We recognize that identity theft (and price gouging for ATM transactions) are problems and financial institutions and businesses can and should take steps to prevent it or to lower the risk. On the other hand, it seems excessive to expose a company to serious liability for errors that might cause no person any injury at any time.

(Congress could have provided a safe harbor whereby, say, in the absence of any evidence of any actual injury, the financial institutions and businesses would have 90-days from written notice of a FACTA or EFTA violation to fix the issue before they are subject to civil liability (again, in the absence of any evidence of any actual injury). Congress didn’t.)

Having said that, these laws are what they are. They’ve been around for nearly twenty years. If financial institutions and businesses still have not figured this stuff out, maybe they deserve what they get.

So, c’mon, Supercuts. Printing the first four and last four digits of customers’ credit card numbers on customer receipts? Really??? In 2019? (We link Sr. U.S. District Court David S. Doty’s (D. Minn.) denial of Supercut’s motion to dismiss the class action complaint.) It is baffling that a large business cannot get its arms around the simple and straightforward requirements of a +/- 20 year-old FACTA rule even if the rule is and was dumb from the start.