The Corporate Privacy Proxy

Shaakirrah R. Sanders, University of Idaho College of Law


This Article contributes to the First Amendment corporate privacy debate by identifying the relevance of agriculture security legislation, or ag-gag laws. Ag-gag laws restrict methods used to gather and disseminate information about commercial food cultivation, production, and distribution-potentially creating a "right" to control or privatize nonproprietary information about animal and agribusinesses. Yet, corporate privacy rights are unrecognized as a matter of U.S. constitutional law, which implicates the sufficiency of the justification for ag-gag laws. This Article ponders whether "security" acts as a proxy for an unrecognized right to corporate privacy in the ag-gag context. Part I of this Article surveys the ag-gag landscape. Part II of this Article describes the corporate privacy debate. Part III of this Article hypothesizes how ag-gag laws arguably expand corporate privacy for animal and agribusinesses to a degree that threatens the marketplace of ideas about the industry.