On January 19, 2011, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether exemption 7(c) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to corporations in FCC v. AT&T. Exemption 7(c) allows for an agency to withhold information in response to a FOIA request if the agency reasonably believes that information would violate the individual's privacy. The FCC's argument [PDF] revolved around an expansive US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reading of FOIA and a plain reading of the statute precluding corporations from qualifying for an exemption of for invasion of personal privacy, while AT&T argued [PDF] that corporations were included. The Court ruled in March 2011 that the exemption did not apply to corporations.
Learn more about the Freedom of Information Act from the JURIST news archive.