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Privacy Businesses The Courts United States Your Rights Online

Supreme Court Rules On Corporate Privacy 408

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dirty-laundry-must-air-dry dept.
heptapod writes "The Supreme Court unanimously decided (PDF) Monday that AT&T can't keep embarrassing corporate information that it submits to the government out of public view; 'personal privacy' rights do not apply to corporations. 'We trust that AT&T will not take it personally,' concluded the ruling."
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Supreme Court Rules On Corporate Privacy

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  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @10:14AM (#35356924)

    About frakking time. Corporations should have no more access to human rights than a tree or rock or building. If an entity can not vote, then it should not have rights.

    Privileges like trademarks and advertising? Sure. But such privileges should be strictly regulated and limited (unlike individual speech rights which should be unlimited).

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:19AM (#35357658) Journal

    Don't worry. The Supreme Court will be back to their old tricks again in Al Kidd v Ashcroft [npr.org]. They may throw us a bone once in a while, but don't think for a second that they are on our side.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:32AM (#35357858)

    So who do we send to jail or fine for the Toyota gas pedal problems?

    Well that one is simple, the journalists whom made the whole thing up for the pageviews.

    Good luck collecting your multi-million dollar award from that single assembly line worker, and enjoy destroying his life in revenge for the damage (most likely accidental) that "he alone" caused you.

    The aviation industry solved that by always blaming the pilot, whom coincidentally was dead. An unintended consequence would be the auto industry increasing their lethality so the driver always ends up dead, thus can take the blame.

    Metalworking shops etc already carry hefty liability insurance. The social engineers in congress would have an interesting problem, as thats currently paid pre-tax but if individual worker had to buy first of all they'd be screwed to higher prices just like health insurance and secondly they'd be paying post tax money. So it would be quite a drag on the economy as a whole, although insurance companies would make more, and special interests love to donate to politicians, so I suspect its inevitable in the future...

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @12:10PM (#35358466) Journal
    The whole point of "shares", and limited liability companies in general, is to allow people to purchase a slice of the outcome of an enterprise the could not afford to undertake themselves; but without the risk of losing more than they put in.

    The risk that shares will lose value is part and parcel with the whole concept of "share". In fact, shareholders are already coddled today much more than they were historically. At one time, getting an LLC was a major thing, not just some paperwork. People actually had to put their own assets on the line with "partnerships". Limited liability stock is a luxury by comparison.

    Now, as a pragmatic matter, I strongly suspect that targeting individual corporate officers with criminal penalties when they do criminal things(ie. if somebody knowingly exposes workers to unreasonable hazard that proves fatal, don't dick around with corporate fines, treat that somebody the same way you would anybody else who subjects others to unreasonable hazard - put them up on manslaughter charges) would have a salubrious effect on corporate behavior, and would be a good public policy move. However, there is absolutely nothing unjust with punishing corporations in ways that damage the value of shares. That is sort of the whole point. (On a separate; but related, note: it sure would be nice if corporate charters were amended such that shareholders had much greater actual power, so they would have some chance of heading things off, rather than just voting with their feet once the clusterfuck started...)

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