FOIA victory: Court rules that corporations have no right of privacy to prevent records disclosure

March 1, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

This just in from The Associated Press:

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that corporations have no right of personal privacy to prevent the disclosure of documents under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 8-0 opinion Tuesday that reversed an appeals court ruling in favor of AT&T. The outcome was notable for its unanimity, especially in view of recent criticism from liberal interest groups that the court tilts too far in favor of business.

“The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations,” Roberts wrote. “We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.”

You can read the ruling here.

Perhaps the ruling will be helpful in West Virginia, where the state’s open records law has a similar personal privacy exemption to that contained in the federal law.

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