Assembly Passes Diegnan, Mukherji & Moriarty Bill to Protect Consumers & Businesses from Invasive and Burdensome Gift Card Data Collection Requirements

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Raj Mukherji and Paul Moriarty sponsored to protect both consumers and businesses from invasive and burdensome data collection requirements for gift cards was given final legislative approval by the Assembly on Thursday, 73-1.

The bill (A-3480) eliminates consumer data collection requirements for certain gift cards.

“The purpose of this bill is to relieve merchants of the responsibility to collect personal consumer data on gift card purchases before the requirement goes into effect in July 2016,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This is invasive, burdensome and, above all, unnecessary.”

Under current law signed by Gov. Christie, qualified stored value card proceeds escheat to the state after five years of inactivity. As a counterpart to this policy, merchants are required to collect the name and address of the consumer and maintain a record thereto recording, at a minimum, the consumer’s zip code. The collection of personal consumer data requirement is not scheduled to take effect until July of 2016.

“This bill eliminates the requirement that merchants collect the name and address of gift card consumers and related record retention requirements for businesses,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “This is both pro-consumer and pro-business, and that’s positive for everyone involved.”

“We need to get rid of this requirement that poses difficulties for both consumers and businesses,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “It was never needed.”

The bill was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on December 15.
The measure will now go to the Governor’s desk.