Amazon wins huge privacy battle over state sales tax

A US federal judge ruled on Monday that Amazon would not have to turn over detailed records on nearly 50 million purchases to North Carolina tax collectors.

A US federal judge ruled on Monday that Amazon would not have to turn over detailed records on nearly 50 million purchases to North Carolina tax collectors.

The state had demanded sensitive information including the names and addresses of North Carolina customers, and information about exactly what they had purchased between 2003 and 2010. US district judge Marsha Pechman in Washington state said that the request went too far and "runs afoul of the first amendment". She granted Amazon summary judgment.

Amazon has provided the state tax collectors with anonymized information about which items were shipped to which postcodes. But North Carolina tax collectors threatened to sue if the retailer did not agree to divulge the names and addresses linked to each order. In other words, they wanted Amazon to provide personally identifiable information that could be used to collect additional taxes that might be owed by state residents.

For more on this story, read Amazon wins fight to keep customer records private on CNET News.

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