2018 - The need for identification as a barrier to access to information: evidence and practices in Brazil and the world

Freedom of Information laws (FOIs) are designed to improve transparency by granting citizens the access to information held by the government. The ability to attain public information, however, may be restricted by public officials. Several experiments show that public officials discriminate among citizen requests for assistance based on their characteristics, infringing their right-to-know. This article analyzes how international laws manage the information about those making FOI requests and proposes a typology of FOI laws that take into account identification obligations. We develop this typology by examining freedom of information laws in 111 countries and apply it to the 18 Latin American countries that have FOIs. In particular, we explore how these obligations vary in decrees and websites. Finally, we examine the Brazilian legal panorama and possible solutions to the impasse. The results show significant heterogeneity in identity protections, indicating the need to standardize identification requirements and the processes to send requests.

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 A necessidade de identificação como barreira ao acesso à informação: evidências e práticas no Brasil e no mundo