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.