Amazon Sues North Carolina To Protect Customer Data
Amazon.com has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the North Carolina Department of Revenue, seeking to block the state’s demand for the "name and address of virtually every North Carolina resident who has purchased anything from Amazon since 2003, along with records of what each customer purchased and how much they paid."
Amazon says in its complaint, that in December North Carolina requested information on sales to customers in the state between August 1, 2003, and February 28,2010, as part of its audit. The company said it turned over information to the sate to meet the request, including product codes for every item purchased. Amazon said it did not provide the "name, address, phone number, email address or other personally identifiable information of any customer."
Amazon said it has "fully cooperated" with North Carolina, but it objects to turning over its customer’s personal information. In the filing Amazon added, "the DOR has no business seeking to uncover the identity of Amazon’s customers who purchased expressive content, which makes up the majority of the nearly 50 million products sold to North Carolina residents during the audit period, let alone associating customers’ names and addresses with the specific books, music, and video content that they have purchased during the past seven years."
Last year, North Carolina passed a law that required out-of-sate retailers to collect sales tax in the state if they have marketing affiliates. Amazon responded by ending its affiliate program in North Carolina and currently does not collect sales tax in the state.