Back in March, we noted that the state of North Carolina was demanding all sorts of info
from Amazon about what everyone located in the state was purchasing. It was actually scary enough to find out that Amazon was already
providing "the date and total price of each transaction, the city, county and ZIP code to which each item was shipped and Amazon's standard product code for each item." Even at that point, that information seems like it could lead to serious privacy violations, but North Carolina wanted more. It demanded that Amazon also hand over names and addresses for every purchase as well -- a clear and blatant privacy no-no. Amazon began fighting this and, in June, the ACLU asked to jump into the case
as well, representing some Amazon customers who live in North Carolina, and who believed that their voices should be heard as well.
Thankfully, those voices will be heard. Michael Scott
points us to the news that the court has allowed the ACLU to intervene in the case
, noting that the Amazon customers the ACLU represents have both 1st and 14th Amendment rights at stake, and that Amazon's interests in the case could diverge from its customers. This is a good first step -- but now hopefully the court correctly recognizes how far beyond reasonable North Carolina's request really is. Meanwhile, if you live in North Carolina, what is your government doing, to demand such personal information?