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Opinion: Gov't Should Stay Out of Consumer Info

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

November 3, 2010

Last week's ruling that Amazon.com would not be required to hand over detailed information about its customers to the North Carolina Department of Revenue was an important win for privacy rights, but more remains to be done, according to a TIME editorial. Amazon claimed that turning over names and addresses would violate citizens' rights to free speech after the state demanded the information in order to collect sales tax revenue. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman wrote in her ruling that "The First Amendment protects a buyer from having the expressive content of her purchase of books, music and audiovisual materials disclosed to the government."
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