Public interest is a term meaning something that benefits all the people. This is compared to a personal interest that only benefits one person. Something that is in the public interest is something that concerns the general public. It is something governments recognize, protect and serve. Thomas Aquinas stated the purpose of government and the law was to serve the “common good” (Latin: bonum commune), meaning the public interest. The term can also be vague in its use. For example, 'public interest' can be used by governments for the purpose of state secrecy. It can also be misused to mean something that actually serves private interests.
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