North Carolina's tax department wants to ding NC residents for sales tax on purchases from out-of-state etailers like Amazon.com, so they've asked Amazon to cough up a list of everything its NC customers have bought — books, sex-toys, steaks, CDs, whatever. Amazon's taken the high-road, and has gone to court to protect its customers' privacy. Good on ya, Amazon!
The lawsuit says the demand violates the privacy and First Amendment rights of Amazon's customers. North Carolina's Department of Revenue had ordered the online retailer to provide full details on nearly 50 million purchases made by state residents between 2003 and 2010.
Amazon is asking a federal judge in Seattle to rule that the demand is illegal, and left open the possibility of requesting a preliminary injunction against North Carolina's tax collectors.
"The best-case scenario for customers would be where the North Carolina Department of Revenue withdraws their demand because they recognize that it violates the privacy rights of North Carolina residents," Amazon spokesperson Mary Osako told CNET.