Privacy Policy

This statement addresses the collection, use, and security of and access to information that may be obtained from or by the Department of Housing and Community Development ("Department").

Internet and Other Information Collected and How it is Used

The Department does not collect names, home, business or e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or account information from contacts we receive over the Internet. We collect this information only if it is voluntarily provided to us through e-mail, surveys, or forms.

Through our web server software we automatically collect and store the following information about an individual's visit on the Internet:

  1. The Protocol Address and domain address used but not the e-mail address. The Internet Protocol Address is a numerical identifier assigned either to the individual's Internet service provider or directly to his or her computer;
  2. The type of browser and operating system an individual used;
  3. The date and time an individual visited our site;
  4. The web pages an individual accessed at our site.

The information we collect on the Internet is used to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. Our web site logs are not personally identifiable and we make no attempt to link them with the individuals who browse our website.

The Department also collects names, home, business or e-mail addresses, and other information for the purposes of registration and titling, occupational licensing, administering other codes and standards programs, administering Division of Financial Assistance programs, and administering the Department's internal affairs. This information is collected through various means, which may include in-person, telephonically, or by mail.

Information Related to the Registration of Manufactured Housing

The Department is responsible for the registration and titling of manufactured homes, mobilehomes, commercial coaches, truck campers, and floating homes. Information gathered from forms in-person, telephonically, or by mail is used for the expressed purpose of processing a request and/or carrying out the purposes of specific statutes. Health and Safety Code section 18081.3 allows the Department to provide bulk information regarding the registration and title status of manufactured homes, mobilehomes, commercial coaches, truck campers, and floating homes for statistical or commercial purposes. However, Health and Safety Code section 18081.3(b) expressly excludes the name or names of the registered owner from being provided.

The Department will not sell information for the purpose of creating a mailing list for solicitations. In addition, while any person may review the titling status of any particular mobilehome, the home address of the registered owner appearing in the information on current registration and title status is confidential if the owner requests confidentiality of that information. The owner requesting confidentiality of his or her home address shall provide the Department with a mailing address which is not confidential, which will be open to public inspection, and which may be used for mailings by the Department.

Information Related to Occupational Licensing

The Department is responsible for the licensing of manufactured home, mobile home, and commercial coach manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and salespersons. The California Code of Regulations, title 25, section 5071 allows the Department to release the following information regarding license status: names (including all fictitious or business names), business address and telephone number, names of all principals and offices held, date of original licensure, date the license expires, expired, lapsed, or was terminated and if applicable, the reason for termination, the name of the employing dealer if the license is a salesperson's license, and any information about the employer as listed above.

Names and addresses of persons applying for licenses may also be released for the sole purpose of providing those persons with informational materials relating to available professional educational materials or courses. In addition, the Department may also provide information regarding noncompliance and complaints, violations substantiated by the Department, and disciplinary action taken against any licensee to any person requesting such information. The Department may also disclose statistical data of a summary nature that does not identify an individual licensee, if the Department considers the information to be informative to consumers.

Information Maintained by Other Division of Codes and Standards Programs

In addition to the Occupational Licensing and Registration and Titling Programs, the Division of Codes and Standards also administers six other programs. These programs include the following: Manufactured Housing Program, Factory Built Housing Program, Mobilehome Parks Program, Employee Housing Program, State Housing Law Program, and Code Enforcement Incentive Program. These programs may involve enforcement of laws and regulations, issuing permits, or providing financial grants to cities and counties to improve their building code enforcement and other activities. This division maintains applications for grants, permits, records of consumer complaints, and other program-related information.

Information Maintained by the Division of Financial Assistance

The Department administers a variety of loan and grant programs for housing and community development through the Division of Financial Assistance. This division maintains various information which may include tenant/applicant information gathered for programs administered by the division and applications for loans and grants.

Information Related to the Department's Administration/Personnel Records

The Department will not disclose personnel, medical, or similar files where disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, unless there is express written permission from the individual to whom the information pertains. The Department is also prohibited from disclosing home addresses and home telephone numbers of its employees unless the request falls under the exceptions enumerated in Government Code section 6254.3 et seq. allowing disclosure. Pursuant to Government Code section 6254.3(b), upon written request by an employee, the Department will not disclose the employee's home address or home telephone number to an employee organization organized pursuant to regulations and decisions of the Public Employment Relations Board and the Department will remove the employee's home address and home telephone number from any mailing list maintained by the Department, unless the list is used exclusively by the Department to contact the employee.

Public Disclosure and Personal Information

In accordance with the Public Records Act, Government Code section 6253(a), some information collected by the Department is considered public information and may be subject to inspection. Government Code section 6254 et seq. enumerates the exemptions to this public disclosure obligation. One such exemption is personal information where disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Another exemption includes records where the disclosure of which is exempted or prohibited pursuant to federal or state law, including, but not limited to provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege.

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, phone number, social security number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history. Personally identifiable information may only be obtained through lawful means. The Department collects no personal information over the Internet unless an individual voluntarily participates in an activity that asks for information (i.e. completing an "HCD Comments Form") and we will not disclose, make available, or otherwise use for purposes other than those specified, any personal information other than that which is required by law or unless an individual consents to disclosure of that information. Furthermore, all personal data collected shall be relevant to the purpose for which it is needed, will only be used for the purposes for which it was provided, and will not be shared with another entity except as prescribed by law.

If personal information is requested or volunteered, the California Information Practices Act of 1977, Government Code section 11015.5, and the Federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information may constitute a public record once an individual provides it, and may be subject to public inspections and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

"Electronically collected personal information" is information that identifies or describes an individual user and includes an individual's name, social security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, medical or employment history, password, electronic mail address, and information that reveals any network location or identity. Electronically collected personal information excludes any information manually submitted and also excludes information on or relating to individuals who communicate electronically while serving in a business capacity, including, but not limited to, business owners, officers, or principals of that business.

Electronically collected personal information is exempt from requests made pursuant to the California Public Records Act under Government Code section 11015.5(a)(7). California is also prohibited by law from selling or otherwise distributing to third parties personal information collected by electronic means other than the bulk information described under "Information Related to the Registration of Manufactured Housing" unless the individual consents in writing.

An individual has the option of having his or her electronically collected personal information discarded without reuse or distribution, provided that the appropriate agency official or employee is contacted after notice is given. The appropriate agency official at the present time is the Information Security Officer.

The Department may also withhold information where the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.

Security Measures for Protection of Information

The Department has security measures in place to protect against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, or alteration of the information under its control. One of these measures is the use of a Secure Socket Layer, which encrypts message transmissions. The Secure Socket Layer works with an individual's browser and the receiving Internet site to scramble the message while it is transported through the Internet.

Transactions requiring payment and/or confidential information require the use of a 128 bit encryption standard Secure Socket Layer.

Information that is physically located within the Department is protected by various security measures which may include the following: access to confidential or sensitive information only by authorized individuals; secured entry to the different divisions that maintain the information; storage of confidential information in locked desks, file cabinets, and/or rooms; storage of confidential data files on floppy disks which are then stored in locked desks or file cabinets; saving confidential files to a private drive on the Local Access Network; and computer password protection of confidential data files.

Unauthorized Use/Access of the Department's Computing System

The Department's computing system is operated by the State of California and is for official use only. In the normal course of system monitoring, individuals with unauthorized access or unauthorized use are subject to having their activities monitored. If such monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity, further legal action may be taken in accordance with Section 502 of the California Penal Code and/or applicable federal law.

Internet Disclaimer

The Department's web site has links to other web sites. These include links to web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When an individual links to another site, he or she is no longer on the Department's web site. When an individual links to another web site he or she is subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Neither the State of California, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the State of California warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

Questions

Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the:

Information Security Officer
Legal Affairs Division
Department of Housing and Community Development
P.O. Box 952052
Sacramento, CA, 94252-2052