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Appeals Court Considers Case that Aligns Privacy and FOI

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today in an open government case with implications for informational privacy. A group of anonymous medical employees challenged the release of personal information sought under a state public records act. EPIC filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief in the case arguing that withholding personal information is consistent with open government and constitutionally required. "Open government laws and privacy laws are complimentary: the aim is to maximize both the public's access to information about the government and to safeguard personal privacy to the greatest extent feasible," EPIC wrote. EPIC has argued for similar privacy protections in ATF v. Chicago, Chicago Tribune v. University of Illinois, Ostergren v. Cuccinelli, NASA v. Nelson, and FCC v. AT&T.

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