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").
The 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 (Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), 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 of 1977, the Public Records Act (Government Code Section 7920.000 et seq.), Government Code Sections 11015.5 and 11019.9, and other applicable laws pertaining to information privacy.
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 Internet users who visit our website without asking. We do not ask for personal information outside of what is necessary. This information is collected through various means, which may include in-person, telephonically, or by mail. We collect this information only if it is voluntarily provided to us through e-mail, surveys, or forms.
Through our Publicly Accessible Website, we automatically collect and store the following information about an individual's visit on the Internet:
- The Internet 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 their computer;
- The type of browser and operating system an individual used;
- The date and time an individual visited our site;
- The web pages an individual accessed at our site.
The information we collect from our websites is used to improve the quality of our services. Our website logs do not contain personally identifiable information (PII) and we make no attempts to associate them with individuals who visit our websites.
Individuals have the right to have any electronically collected personal information deleted by the Department, without reuse or distribution. “Electronically collected personal information” is defined under the heading “Public Disclosure and Personal Information,” below. Individuals may request to have their electronically collected personal information deleted via the contact information provided at the bottom of this policy.
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 7928.300 et seq. allowing disclosure. Pursuant to Government Code section 7928.300(c), 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 7922.525(a), some information collected by the Department is considered public information and may be subject to inspection. Government Code section 7922.000 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”). We will specify the purposes for which personally data are collected at the time of collection, and we will not disclose, make available, or otherwise use for purposes other than those specified, any personal information other than as authorized 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 authorized by law.
If personal information is requested or volunteered, the 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 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 sections 7927.400 and 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 their 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 Privacy 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.
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 their own risk.
The Department provides individuals whose personal information is contained in Departmental records with an opportunity to review that information and contest its accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness.
Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the:
Information Privacy Officer
Department of Housing and Community Development
2020 West El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95833
Last updated 04/17/2023