In the aftermath of the now infamous “Citizens United” case in front of the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations have the same rights as individuals when making political donations, companies were eager to try out the same personal rights arguments in other cases. The first of those came when AT&T sought to block the disclosure of emails and other potentially embarrassing documents it had provided to the FCC, arguing that personal-privacy rights apply to corporations under the Freedom of Information Act. The Supreme Court shot down that argument today, ruling that corporations don’t get to enjoy certain personal privacy exemptions included in FOIA. While corporations lost this attempt at achieving “person” status it probably won’t end here—what’s next, as the fallout from Citizens United continues?
Anne Weismann, chief counsel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) & author of the amicus brief filed in the AT&T case; former deputy chief of the enforcement bureau of the FCC