The California Department of Justice (Department) 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 the Department to limit the collection and safeguard the privacy of personal information collected or maintained by the Department. 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.
The Department follows these principles in collecting and managing personal information:
- We collect personal information on individuals only as allowed by law. We limit the collection of personal information to what is relevant and necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose of the Department. For example, we may need to know someone's address, telephone number and social security number, among other things, to properly identify the person before issuing a professional license.
Personal information, as defined in the Information Practices Act, is information that identifies or describes an individual including, but not limited to, name, Social Security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history.
- We do not collect home, business or e-mail addresses, or account information from persons who simply browse our Internet website. The Department collects personal information about individuals through our website only if an individual provides such information to the Department voluntarily through forms or surveys. The information that the Department automatically collects includes the domain name or Internet Protocol address that relates to the machine used to access the Department's website, the type of browser and operating system used, the date and time when the website is visited, web pages displayed, and any forms that are uploaded.
- We use Google Analytics to help improve our website. The Department uses Google Analytics to help understand how visitors interact with our website so that the site can be improved. You can read Google’s security and privacy policies for Google Analytics. You can chose not to have your data used by Google Analytics by downloading their opt-out browser add-on.
- We may use session cookies in some areas of this 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. For example, cookies are used by some sites to greet you personally, to post a list of your favorite books to purchase, to remember what you had in your shopping basket the last time you visited.
On this website, a temporary cookie may be placed on your computer for applications such as online complaint forms or court-appointed conservator registration 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 outweigh privacy concerns.
- We strive in each instance to tell people who provide personal information to the Department the purpose for which the information is collected. At the time of collection, we also strive to tell persons who are asked to provide personal information about the general uses that we will make of that information.
- We tell people who provide personal information about their opportunity to review that information. The Department allows individuals who provide personal information to review the information and contest its accuracy or completeness.
- 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.
- We use information security safeguards. We take reasonable precautions to protect the personal information collected or maintained by the Department against loss, unauthorized access, and illegal use or disclosure. The Department uses encryption software to protect the security of individuals' personal information during transmission of such information through the Department's Websites. Such personal information is stored by the Department in secure locations. The Department's 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 Office's records retention schedule. The Department conducts periodic reviews to ensure that proper information management policies and procedures are understood and followed.
The Department encourages all individuals to use appropriate safeguards to secure their computers and the information on those computers. For more on online privacy and security, please see the Department’s Online Privacy page here.