Supreme Court rejects 'personal privacy' for corporations in Freedom of Information Act case
Originally published: March 1, 2011
Last updated: March 1, 2011 - 7:27pm
Corporations do not have right to "personal privacy," the Supreme Court ruled, at least when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act and the release of documents held by the government.
In an unanimous decision, the justices rejected a claim brought by AT&T, which was trying to prevent the release of information compiled during an investigation of its billing practices by the Federal Communications Commission. The law says most such information is subject to release, except when it would can cause "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Last year, AT&T won a ruling based on that provision, but the Supreme Court disagreed. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the phrase "personal privacy" is understood to refers to persons, not to artificial entities like a corporation.
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