Guest Blog by Ken Davidson

Almost every customer interaction in retail involves contact with confidential consumer information. From the McDonald’s drive-through window to financial transactions on Wall Street, keeping customer information private is a top priority. But protecting this information from misuse by hackers and criminals is not always easy. Last year, information leaks compromised more than 180 million records, according to research by Javelin Strategy and Research, Pleasanton, Calif. When companies are making the decision to outsource customer care to a contact center, they must be able to trust that the selected partner will do everything possible to protect their customers’ information.

Guest Blog by T. Markus Funk

In the morning hours of Aug. 22, law firms, boardrooms and compliance professionals around the globe were humming with anticipation (or perhaps more accurately, laboring under a chilly frisson of dread). The cause for this collective anxiety was the SEC’s much-anticipated – and much-delayed – announcement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s final disclosure and reporting rules (the "rules") concerning “conflict minerals” (generally tin, gold, tantalum or tungsten or any other minerals or their derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries).

Guest Blog by Thomas Cohn

Last year, the California Supreme Court held that collecting a customer’s ZIP code during a credit card transaction violates the state’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (“Song-Beverly”). Thanks to this case (Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores Inc.), California retailers have effectively been prohibited from requesting and recording customers’ ZIP codes during credit card transactions. Meanwhile, more than 100 consumer class-action lawsuits have been filed against California retailers. In Pineda, the plaintiff alleged that Williams-Sonoma requested her ZIP code as part of a store credit card purchase and recorded it for marketing purposes.

Guest Blog By Michael Plummer

In today’s world, local businesses have more marketing tools at their fingertips than ever before. The explosion of online marketing concepts has made a big impact on the way consumers think about and react to campaigns. In fact, the emergence of social media gives consumers the power to influence and shape the brands they know. This has fundamentally changed the game because marketing is now as much, if not more, about controlling the message than shaping it.

Guest Blog by David Seiden

Why do some online retailers collect sales tax and others don’t? Why do some online retailers collect sales tax in certain states and not in others? Why are some states requiring online retailers to collect sales tax despite not having a physical presence in the state? Over the last 10 years as online shopping has gone mainstream, the issue of when an online retailer is required to collect sales tax has grown increasingly murky.In the “good old days,” sales tax collection on retail sales was straightforward. A consumer would go into his or her local store, buy merchandise and pay sales tax at the register.

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