Friday, May 14, 2010

Amazon fights for First Amendment and customers’ privacy rights

In the latest episode of financially strapped states that are trying to capture sales tax on online purchases...

Amazon denies North Carolina’s request for tax-related information.

The online retail giant has already provided the State with customer order data; however, they are refusing to disclose more personal details. In a complaint filed in Federal District Court in Seattle, Amazon argues the audit violates the First Amendment and customers’ privacy rights.

Federal law prevents states from requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax if the company does not have a physical presence in that state.

I guess that law was enacted during the era of fiscal responsibility?

Monday, May 03, 2010

What About Privacy?

Why is it that when a new surveillance camera is installed, there is a general outcry about our privacy being invaded? Yet…every teen and their mother, who have cell phones, think nothing of filming whatever or whomever they find of interest and making those recordings quite public, by posting them on the internet. Is that not an invasion of privacy?

The intent of surveillance cameras is not to invade one’s privacy, but to protect the victims of potential or actual wrongdoing. Due to public access to posted viewing materials, there are individuals who find themselves, explaining to various authorities, why at a specific place and time, they were engaged in an activity, which was not safe, lawful, sensible or which lead to adverse consequences. These individuals are explaining themselves, not because of surveillance cameras, but because they’ve experienced their 15 minutes of fame on the internet.

We may want to re-think before “coloring outside the lines” because someone, who is not concerned with your privacy, is sure to be watching…and maybe recording.