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Freedom of information

Freedom of information

Freedom of information definition

Freedom of information refers to the person’s right to access and receive information from public bodies and government agencies. At its core, it is a right to seek and receive information without restrictions, censorship, or interference.

Importance of freedom of information

  • Promotes transparency. Freedom of information ensures citizens can obtain the information they need about government policies, decisions, and actions.
  • Fosters informed decision-making. Freedom of information helps citizens collect and access the information they need to make an informed decision.
  • Supports democratic participation. Freedom of information allows people to participate in governance and demand accountability from the elected officials.
  • Facilitates innovation. Free access to information enables the development of new ideas and creation of new products.
  • Protects human rights. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of human rights, protecting people’s right to justice, privacy, and the right to express themselves.

Examples of freedom of information

  • Disclosure of public records. Politicians are required to disclose their meetings and financial records.
  • Whistleblower protection. In most countries, a person who exposes illegal activities within a public organization is protected by freedom of information laws.
  • Access to personal information. People have the right to access their personal information collected by public organizations, such as tax information and medical records.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security