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Privacy

Corporations Now Have a Right To "Personal Privacy" 371

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Thanks to a recent ruling (PDF) by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, corporations now have a right to 'personal privacy,' due to the application of a carelessly worded definition in the Freedom of Information Act. FOIA exempts disclosure of certain records, but only if it 'could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.' But in its definitions, FOIA makes the mistake of broadly defining 'person' to include legal entities, like corporations. The FCC didn't think that 'personal privacy' could apply to a corporation, so they ignored AT&T's claim that releasing data from an investigation into how AT&T was overcharging certain customers would violate the corporation's privacy. The Third Circuit thought that the FCC's actions were contrary to what the law actually says. So now the FCC has to jump through more hoops to show that releasing data on their investigation into AT&T's overcharging is 'warranted' within the meaning of 5 USC 552(b)(7)(c) before it can release anything."

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