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.
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