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Privacy at Heart of Tax Suit

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

May 3, 2010

The New York Times reports on Amazon's efforts to block one state's demands for customer data. The company filed suit against the North Carolina Department of Revenue recently, claiming that providing state officials with North Carolinians' purchase information, as the state has requested, would violate customers' privacy and First Amendment rights. "The lawsuit can seem like the front line of the battle for privacy in the Internet age," the report states, pitting private industry against an "overreaching government." With companies storing more and more consumer data--a "honey pot for the government"--one expert warns that "the bleed from privately held data to state surveillance can happen very quickly." Another says a strengthened law is needed to ensure that information collected for one purpose isn't used for another. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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