Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Via .@davidlaz - Capital One's new contract terms are NOT a Constitutional violation

I've covered this before, but it bears repeating. The protections in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights are designed to protect you from GOVERNMENT intrusion. Those amendments, in and of themselves, do not apply to non-government agencies. So, unless other legislation is on the books, a private company cannot "rob you of your First Amendment rights" or "Second Amendment rights" or whatever.

The Los Angeles Times' David Lazarus reminded us of this in the recent brouhaha about Capital One. For those who haven't heard, Capital One's new contract terms state that Capital One may choose to contact you via a personal visit "at your home and at your place of employment."

And no, this is not a Fourth Amendment issue.

"It sounds really invasive, but I don't think it's a violation of your 4th Amendment rights," said Daniel E. Kann, a Santa Clarita lawyer who specializes in illegal-search cases.

He explained that the amendment applies primarily to searches and seizures by law enforcement, not civilians. A credit card company, in theory, could reserve the right to visit your home or office without a court order, Kann said.

So while an overzealous Capital One employee could break other laws, such as harrassment and stalking laws, the Fourth Amendment itself is not an issue.
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