In a change made Aug. 31, 2000, Amazon notified customers that it would share data with business partners and that its customer database could be sold as an asset. It also removed the ability of customers to opt out of third-party data sharing. Amazon, Seattle, previously had a policy of not sharing any personal data of its customers.
The letter was addressed to Glenn Kaplan and Pamela Kogut, assistant attorneys general in Massachusetts, but also went to the attorneys general of Maryland, Arizona, Michigan, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.
Late yesterday, Kaplan and Kogut responded in a letter to the privacy groups, which was posted on the EPIC Web site at www.epic.org. In part, the response said, "We note that we have provided a copy of your letter to Amazon, and are interested in receiving Amazon's reply to the concerns you raise."
However, it went on to say that though some of the changes proposed by the groups might be nice, they were not necessary. It also said that Amazon had been cooperative and receptive to the AG's suggestions.
It is unclear whether the other state AGs will follow suit and remain satisfied with the changes Amazon pledged to make.