Conditions of Use
The State wants you know about the collection, use, security, and access to information that may be obtained through use of the State’s web portal. By visiting this website, you are accepting the policies and practices described in this Notice.
Please note that this Use Policy is subject to change without notice, and that it reflects the State’s current business practices. This policy was last updated June 2015.
Also note that each department within the State may have additional privacy and use policies specific to the mission and needs of their work. Be sure to review those policies as you access additional sites within the State.
Personal Information and Choice
“Personal information” is information about a natural person that identifies or describes an individual, including, but not limited to, his or her name, social security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history, readily identifiable to that specific individual. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information, however, it is considered “electronically collected personal information”.
According to Government Code § 11015.5 (d) 1, “Electronically collected personal information” means any information that is maintained by an agency that identifies or describes an individual user, including, but not limited to, his or her 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, but excludes any information manually submitted to a state agency by a user, whether electronically or in written form, and information on or relating to individuals who are users, serving in a business capacity, including, but not limited to, business owners, officers, or principals of that business.
“Electronically collected personal information” we automatically collect includes your domain name or Internet Protocol address, and statistical information about which web pages you visit. If you voluntarily participate in an activity that asks for specific information (i.e. completing a request for assistance, personalizing the content of the website, sending an email or participating in a survey) more detailed data will be collected. If you choose not to participate in these activities, your choice will in no way affect your ability to use any other feature of the website.
If any type of personal information is requested on the website or volunteered by the user, state law, including Information Practices Act of 1977, Government Code § 11015.5, and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information may be a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not otherwise protected by federal or state law.
A Special Note About Children
Children are not eligible to use services that require submission of personal information and we require that minors (under the age of 18) do not submit any personal information to us. This includes submitting personal information to the State as part of a user profile or personalization profile. If you are a minor, you can use these services only if used together with your parents or guardians. If you are a minor you should seek guidance from your parents.
If the state decides to begin collecting personal information from children, it will notify parents that it is being requested, disclose the reasons for collecting it, and disclose our intended use for it. The state will seek parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information. If it does collect it, parents may request information on the type of data being collected, view their child’s information and, if they choose, prohibit the state from making further use of their child’s information. The state will not provide personal information about children to third parties.
Information Collected and How It Is Used
We do collect personal information directly from individuals who volunteer to use some of our services. Collection of this information is required to deliver the specific services, but use of these services is voluntary.
If you do nothing during your visit to the website but browse or download information, we automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:
- The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used but not the e-mail address. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you and generate statistics used in the management of this site
- The type of browser and operating system you used
- The date and time you visited this site
- The web pages or services you accessed at this site
- The website you visited prior to coming to this website
- The website you visit as you leave this website
- If you downloaded a form, the form that was downloaded.
The information we automatically collect or store is used to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. This information does not identify you personally and is used for gathering website statistics. The information we automatically collect and store in our logs about your visit helps us to analyze our website to continually improve the value of the materials available. Our website logs do not identify a visitor by personal information, and we make no attempt to link other websites with the individuals that browse the State’s website.
Government Code § 11015.5 (6) prohibits all state agencies from distributing or selling any electronically collected personal information as defined above, about users to any third party without the permission of the user. The State does not sell any “electronically collected personal information”. Any distribution of “electronically collected personal information” will be solely for the purposes for which it was provided to us.
The State may provide or distribute certain lists and statistical reports of regulatory information as provided by law, but no personal information is sold or distributed and all relevant legal protections still apply to the State’s websites.
What Happens to Information You Submit to Us
Use of Internet Request for Assistance Form Information
Any information you provide to us will only be shared with entities involved in your case as necessary. Information you provide may be included with other consumers’ information to be used for statistical reporting, trending data, and/or investigative actions. For example, we may need to retain information that becomes part of an enforcement action or consumer complaint case for a period of time after the closing date of the case.
If you provide us with information regarding an issue that does not fall within our regulatory jurisdiction, we may refer your information to the appropriate local, state, or federal agency on your behalf.
If during your visit to the State’s website you participate in a survey or send an email, the following additional information will be collected:
- The email address and contents of the email; and
- Information volunteered in response to the survey.
The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us.
The information is retained in accordance with Government Code § 11015.5.
If You Send Us Email
You may choose to provide us with personal information, as in email with a comment or question. We use the information to improve our service to you or to respond to your request. Sometimes we forward your email to other State employees who may be better able to help you, and this staff may be employed by a different agency within the State. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations or as required by law, we do not share our email with any other organizations.
We use your email to respond appropriately. This may be to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to further improve our website, or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action.
If you place an order with us, we request information from the user on our order form. A user must provide contact information (like name and shipping address). This information is used to fill your request. If we have trouble processing your request, this contact information is used to get in touch with you.
In the State of California, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public’s right to access public records. These exceptions serve various needs including maintaining the privacy of individuals. Both state and federal laws provide exceptions.
All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. In the event of a conflict between this Use Policy and the Public Records Act, the Information Practices Act or other law governing the disclosure of records, the Public Records Act, the Information Practices Act or other applicable law will control.
Automatic Collection of Information Cookies
Cookies created on your computer by using this website do not contain “personal information” and do not compromise your privacy or security. We use the cookie feature only to store a randomly generated identifying temporary tag on your computer. You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer by using any of the widely available methods. However, if you turn your cookie option off you may not be able to access some of the features in our interactive applications.
The State, as developer and manager of this website, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire State operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management. This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via the State’s supported website. The technical standards governing security are enforced by the Department of Information Technology.
Links to Other Sites
This website and the information it contains are provided as a public service by the State of California. This system is monitored to ensure proper operation, to verify the functioning of applicable security features, and for comparable purposes. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring. Unauthorized attempts to modify any information stored on this system, to defeat or circumvent security features, or to utilize this system for other than its intended purposes are prohibited and may result in criminal prosecution.
Limitation of Liability
The State attempts to maintain the highest accuracy of content on its website. Any errors or omissions should be reported for investigation.
The State makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the absolute accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this website and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this website. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this website or its hyperlinks to other Internet resources. Reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the State of California, or their employees or agents.
This Use Policy is subject to change without notice.
In general, information presented on this website, unless otherwise indicated, is considered in the public domain. It may be distributed or copied as permitted by law. However, the State does make use of copyrighted data (e.g., photographs) which may require additional permissions prior to your use. Furthermore, the unique branding of the site and various official seals and marks may not be used without permission of the State. In order to use any information on this website not owned or created by the State you must seek permission directly from the owning (or holding) sources. The State shall have the unlimited right to use for any purpose, free of any charge, all information submitted via this site except those submissions made under separate legal contract. The State shall be free to use, for any purpose, any ideas, concepts, or techniques contained in information provided through this site.