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Court Determines Corporations Are Not Persons

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

March 2, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the term "personal privacy" does not extend to corporations. Forbes reports on the 8-0 decision in FCC v. AT&T, which was prompted by an appellate court decision to extend a Freedom of Information Act exemption prohibiting the release of information that causes "unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" to corporations. In his opinion, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote, "We do not usually speak of personal characteristics, personal effects, personal correspondence, personal influence or personal tragedy as referring to corporations or other artificial entities. In fact, we often use the word 'personal' to mean precisely the opposite of business-related..."
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