Access to information is a basic human right that stipulates that everyone has the right to get information from public authorities, subject only to a restricted set of exceptions that are consistent with a democratic society and appropriate to the interest that justifies them.
In addition to its constitutional value, access to information also has substantive content in that it can be understood as an essential condition for exercising other rights such as freedom of expression, association, and participation in political life.
Thus, the right of access to information is not only a procedural requirement but also a fundamental element of any democracy.
It should be noted that this right does not include the right to obtain false or misleading information, which would be punishable by law.
Furthermore, no one has the right to access information that has been properly classified under international agreements or national laws.
States have the primary responsibility for ensuring access to information, but NGOs and individuals can also file complaints if they believe that relevant information has been withheld unlawfully.
Non-compliance can be considered a violation of human rights and can lead to sanctions.
The legal standards for managing and reusing information are covered under information rights. It strikes a balance between the concepts of free access to information and the protection of individual privacy and property rights. Information rights include: copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, privacy, and publicity.
Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary works, musical compositions, movies, and other forms of artistic expression. Copyright gives its owner the right to make copies or reproductions of the object of copyright for private use only. The copyright holder can license their work to others for certain uses such as publishing or performance before an audience. These licenses can be either non-exclusive or exclusive. An exclusive license means that the licensee has the right to use the work without having to pay royalties to the author or artist. A non-exclusive license does not give the licensee the right to use the work without paying royalties but may limit the number of people that can use the work. For example, an artist might grant a non-exclusive license to print photos of their artwork to a newspaper who would then be able to publish the photo without having to pay the artist.
Trademarks identify the source of goods and services and distinguish them from those of other parties. They help consumers recognize quality products and avoid purchasing counterfeit items. Trademarks also assist businesses in differentiating themselves from their competitors.
Everyone has the right to access any information kept by the state or by any person that is necessary for the exercise or protection of any right. This right can be found in the first article of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It does not matter if the information is held by a public body or by a private individual, you should be able to access it. The only condition is that it must be done reasonably. If a person refuses to provide information, this refusal cannot be used as a reason to deny someone's rights.
The right to access information is not interpreted as meaning that everyone will be able to obtain information from every source at any time. There are many cases where this would cause too much trouble for organizations and individuals. In such cases, there is usually a mechanism for appealing decisions made with regard to access to information requests. For example, a person may have to show why they need specific information that is not available elsewhere, which will allow authorities to make an informed decision about whether to release it.
Access to information is also not interpreted as meaning that individuals will always be able to obtain information from all sources. For example, if the information being accessed is contained in a confidential document, then the organization holding it may decide to give only limited access to it.
The link between data collection and distribution, technology, the public's expectation of privacy, and the legal and political concerns surrounding them is known as information privacy. It's sometimes referred to as data privacy or data protection.
Information privacy includes: access to personal information, identity theft, data security, and privacy legislation.
Data privacy is the right of individuals to control how their data is used without interference from third parties. This may include not only the right to prevent any form of collection of data, but also to be informed about what types of data are collected about them, who does it, and whether it is kept private or shared with others.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, address, social security number, credit card numbers, debit card numbers, or other sensitive information, to commit crimes or damage your reputation. Data security involves protecting data against loss, misuse, and unauthorized access. Privacy legislation is law that regulates the use and disclosure of personal information. Some examples of privacy legislation include the United States' Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs), Canada's Personal Information Protection Act S.C. 2002, and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Data privacy is more than a simple issue of individual rights.