Does a corporation enjoy the benefits of "personal privacy" when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
That's the key question that was argued today before the Supreme Court in the case of Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc.
Back in November, POGO and allies in the good government community challenged a Court of Appeals decision and argued in an amicus brief that the "personal privacy" exemption to FOIA did not apply to corporate entities.
We're glad to report that the Court appears to be taking our concerns seriously.
From the transcript of today's oral argument:
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Mr. Klineberg, you have read the brief of the Project on Government Oversight where they give dozens and dozens of examples to show that, overwhelmingly, "personal" is used to describe an individual, not an artificial being. And it is the overwhelming use of personal.
As POGO General Counsel Scott Amey put it in an earlier statement, “We hope that the Court sees the distinction between an individual and a company doing business with the government.” If the Court of Appeals decision stands, the public will be in the dark about how the government spends our tax dollars.
Find background on this case here.
Image by Flickr user justindc, used under Creative Commons License.