Keith Paul Bishop of Allen Matkins writes:
Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution provides that “all people” have an inalienable right of privacy. Does this right extent to corporations? Seemingly it would if corporations are considered “people”. Some might cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310, 394 (U.S. 2010) and argue that the corporations are people. However, the Citizens United decision was concerned with a federal statute and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. More significantly, the Court in Citizens United did not hold that corporations are people.
Those troubled by the idea that corporations may be people too might be cheered by a recent decision by a panel of the California Court of Appeal. Noting that Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution refers only to “people”, the Court held that corporations do not have a constitutional right of privacy. SCC Acquisitions, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 1180 (2015). That was not the end of the Court’s analysis, however. The Court went on to conclude that corporations do have a right of privacy, just not a constitutional right.
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