Apple is leading a legal challenge to overthrow a California law that limits the amount of personal information required before consumers can make a credit card purchase.

In court papers, Apple described the law "incompatible" with today's online commerce.

Apple suggests that the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act should apply only to brick-and-mortar businesses. The company notes that the law was last revised 21 years ago in 1991 - years before the iTunes Store arrived.

Apple is backed by Walmart, eBay and others, reports These e-retailers are concerned that if law is applied to ecommerce it could make it more difficult to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft.

However, consumer rights advocates want the law to apply when credit cards are used online. They suggest that online retailers can still protect against fraud without forcing customers to reveal private information such as their address or phone number.

Last year, Apple was sued by a Californian man who suggested that Apple violated the 1991 California law when it requested that he provide his address and phone number in order to open an iTunes account. He claimed this information was not necessary to verify his credit card.

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