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Letters to the Editor: Asking for an emailed receipt shouldn’t require surrendering privacy

A customer checks her sales receipt at a Wal-Mart in Vancouver, Wash.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

To the editor: The fact that one has made a transaction with a business should not compromise that person’s privacy. (“Privacy or planet — the tough choice of doing away with paper receipts,” column, March 2)

I opt for electronic receipts whenever offered because I don’t want the environmental impact of a paper receipt coated with dangerous substances such as bisephenol A. Businesses should be forbidden from using personal information gathered from a simple transaction and should only be able to use such information for warnings or other necessities having to do with the items purchased.

This privacy safeguard is already in place with memberships and credit cards, so why can’t the state legislate the same for electronic receipts? We need to encourage exclusive use of electronic receipts for the environmental benefit they provide.

Gloria Sefton, Trabuco Canyon

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To the editor: Here’s an idea to get around some privacy issues associated with emailing receipts:

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The receipt could be sent to the credit-card issuer, which would maintain this record and provide access to it for the card holder. This idea makes electronic purchases operate like modern check handling, where the canceled check is not returned to the writer but its image is available from the bank and can serve as proof of payment when required.

Should the return process require a printed receipt, the card holder could make it from the stored image, which can include an authentication code from the card issuer.

David Fischer, Laguna Niguel

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To the editor: The amount of paper used in receipts could be reduced by more than half if stores eliminated their promotions, advertising, “how much you saved” information, feedback requests, oversized logos and other space-wasting items.

I’d be very surprised if they did this.

Philip Blackmarr, Pasadena


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