DGS is committed to promoting and protecting the privacy rights of individuals, as enumerated in Article 1 of the California Constitution, the Information Practices Act of 1977, and other state and federal laws.
It is the policy of DGS to safeguard the privacy of personal information it collects and maintains.
The department’s information management practices conform to the requirements of the Information Practices Act (Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), the Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), Government Code Sections 11015.5 and 11019.9, and other applicable laws pertaining to information privacy.
DGS follows these principles in collecting and managing personal information:
- We collect personal information on individuals only as allowed by law. Personal information, as defined in the Information Practices Act, is information that identifies or describes an individual including but not limited to:
- Social Security number.
- Physical description.
- Home address.
- Home telephone number.
- Financial matters.
- Medical or employment history.
We limit the collection of personal information to what is relevant and necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose of the department.
- We tell individuals who provide personal information to the department the purpose(s) for which the information is collected. At the time of collection, we also tell individuals who provide personal information about the specific uses that we will make of that information and we provide a privacy notice on or with the form used to collect personal information.
- We allow individuals who provide personal information to review the information and contest its accuracy or completeness. Please see contact information at the end of this document.
- We only use or disclose personal information for the specified purposes, or purposes consistent with those purposes, unless we get the consent of the subject of the information, or unless required by law or regulation. The Public Records Act exists to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to have access to appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions in both state and federal law to the public’s right to access public records. These exceptions serve various needs including maintaining the privacy of individuals. In the event of a conflict between this policy and the Public Records Act, the Information Practices Act or other law governing the disclosure of records, the applicable law will control. DGS may share personal information about individuals with other government agencies for general law enforcement purposes.
- We do not collect home, business or e-mail addresses, or account information from individuals who simply browse our Internet website. DGS collects personal information about individuals through our website if an individual provides such information to the department voluntarily through our online services. The information that DGS may automatically collect includes the Internet Protocol address of the machine used to access our website.
This information is collected for customer service and audit purposes, which include improvement of our website.
- We may use session cookies in some areas of our website to improve the overall usability of the site. Cookies are small text files placed on your computer, often without your knowledge, while visiting certain sites on the Internet used to identify your computer.
- On our websites, a temporary cookie may be placed on your computer for applications such as online forms which can be sent electronically. The session cookies are used to facilitate the interaction between you and the fields in the form. The cookies are not used to collect or store information about you and do not track you if you return to our website. The cookie is temporary and will be deleted when you exit your browser.
- You can prevent cookies from being placed on your computer by accessing your browser’s preferences menu and deleting existing cookies. There also are commercial programs available to help you manage cookies. Before taking such steps, you should be aware that some websites may not work properly if you choose to block the placement of cookies on your computer. You will need to decide whether enabling cookies outweighs privacy concerns.
- DGS will not distribute or sell any electronically collected personal information about users to any third party without the user’s written consent.
- Electronically collected personal information is exempt from requests made under the Public Records Act.
- You have the right to have any electronically collected personal information deleted by DGS without reuse or distribution. Please see contact information at the end of this document to request deletion of electronically collected personal information.
- We use information security safeguards. We take reasonable precautions to protect the personal information collected or maintained by DGS against loss, unauthorized access, and illegal use or disclosure. DGS uses encryption software to protect the security of an individual’s personal information during transmission of such information through the department’s information systems and websites. Such personal information is stored by DGS in secure locations. DGS staff is trained on procedures for the management of personal information, including limitations on the release of information. Access to personal information is limited to those members of the department’s staff whose work requires such access. Confidential information is destroyed according to the department’s records retention schedule. DGS conducts periodic reviews to ensure that proper information management policies and procedures are understood and followed.
DGS encourages all individuals to use appropriate safeguards to secure their computers and the information on those computers.