SCOTUS: Corporations Not People (at least with respect to one FOIA provision)


Today the Supreme Court handed down a decision in FCC v. AT&T (decision here [PDF]) in which the Court decided that corporations do not have “personal privacy” for the purposes of FOIA exemption 7(C). Our former law clerk wrote about this case earlier this year.

Under FOIA, federal agencies generally must release their records to a requester, unless one of nine exemptions is met. At issue in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc. is whether a personal privacy exemption to FOIA that covers information compiled for law enforcement purposes applies to corporations in addition to individuals.

Had the decision gone the other way, a huge new loophole would have been shoehorned into FOIA.