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Attorney General Kathy Jennings

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  Archived Posts From: 1996


96-IB33 Re: Freedom of Information Act Disclosure of Names and Addresses of Business License Holders

Written on: December 11th, 1996 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Requestor sought an opinion on whether the names and addresses of Delaware business license holders constitute public records under the Freedom of Information Act. Held: as a general rule, the names and addresses of the holders of business licenses are exempt from disclosure by a common law right of privacy. In certain situations, the balance between a private right of informational privacy may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure, but only if disclosure will contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of government, as opposed to the commercial interest of the requestor. However, it is difficult to conceive of a situation in which the reason for requesting the names and addresses of business license holders would be for any purpose other than the commercial interest of the requestor.

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