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Notable News: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Business Privacy

The Supreme Court recently released a decision on the case Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media that may be beneficial to your company. The case arose when a newspaper run by Argus Leader Media in South Dakota requested from the government a list of names and information on companies involved in a national agriculture program. The government provided some of this information but only provided their names; they did not disclose those company’s sales data. Subsequently, the newspaper then sued, stating that they should be allowed to receive sales data under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was originally passed in 1967. This case stretched on, and eventually came to the Supreme Court. They have decided that as long as the company is not publicly traded, information that is treated as private is considered “confidential” and is not protected by the FOIA.

What does this mean for you?

If your company is privately traded, this decision has just granted you more protections. The court has showed that they see the value in keeping certain company information confidential, as long as there was the intent for it to be private. Going forward to prevent any discrepancies, clearly designate files that you want to remain private.

 

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