Transparency: Should Corporations Have Privacy Rights?

business_ethics_highlights_2 The story linked below is about the extent to which corporations are up-front and transparent about their political donations. Question for discussion: should companies be expected to make this sort of information public? Why? Clearly there’s a public interest argument, but is that sufficient? Corporations do have certain rights. Should a right to privacy be one of them? Normally, when an entity has rights, the public interest isn’t automatically sufficient reason to invade or override that right. But then, to understand just how strong a particular right is — just how important it is to honour it — we need to know what interest it is protecting. If corporations have privacy rights, is recognizing such rights an important way of protecting the rights or interests of the human stakeholders? What is the point of a corporate right to privacy. Until you figure that out, you can’t plausibly figure out what its limits are.

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LINK: The most and least transparent companies for political spending (by Jena McGregor for Washington Post)

Major public companies are letting a little more sunlight into their wallets, making more disclosures about their political spending on their web sites and adding more board oversight to monitor it, according to a new study.

The report released Tuesday, by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, creates an index that ranks companies based on the disclosure, oversight and policies about their election-related spending. It found that 50 companies in the S&P 500 received scores of 90 percent or above, up from just 41 companies in 2016 and 28 in 2015….

What do you think?


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