David Banisar, The Right to Information and Privacy, Balancing Rights and Managing Conflicts

Conclusion from the article:

“Access to information and protection of privacy are both rights intended to help the individual in making government accountable. Most of the time, the two rights complement each other. However, there are conflicts—for example, privacy laws often are improperly invoked by governments. And there are cases where the conflicts are legitimate.

There is no simple solution to balancing the two rights, but most issues can be mitigated through the enactment of clear definitions in legislation, guidelines, techniques, and oversight systems.

Of key importance is that governments take care when writing the laws to ensure that the access to information and data protection laws have compatible definitions of personal information. They should adopt appropriate public interest tests that allow for careful balancing of the two rights. Finally, they should create appropriate institutional structures that can balance these rights and ensure that data protection and right to information officials work together, even if they represent different bodies.”

Related material:

The full text is available at: http://wbi.worldbank…