The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) 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 CAL FIRE to limit the collection and safeguard the privacy of personal information collected or maintained by CAL FIRE. CAL FIRE'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.
CAL FIRE adheres to the following principles in connection with the collection and management of personal information:
- CAL FIRE collects personal information on individuals only as allowed by law. CAL FIRE limits the collection of personal information to what is relevant and necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose of CAL FIRE, as defined at Government Code Section 11549.5. For example, CAL FIRE may need to know an individual's home address, e-mail address, or telephone number, in order to answer the individual's questions or in order to provide requested assistance. Personal information, as defined in the Information Practices Act, includes information that identifies or describes an individual including, name, Social Security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history.
- CAL FIRE endeavors in each instance to tell people who provide personal information to CAL FIRE the purpose for which the information is collected. CAL FIRE strives to tell persons, who are asked to provide personal information, about the general uses that Office will make of that information. CAL FIRE does this at the time of collection. With each request for personal information, CAL FIRE provides information on the authority under which the request is made, the principal uses CAL FIRE intends to make of the information and the possible disclosures CAL FIRE is obligated to make to other government agencies and to the public. See the notice on Information Collection, Use, and Access on our Contact Form.
- CAL FIRE provides people who provide personal information with an opportunity to review that information. CAL FIRE allows individuals, who provide personal information, to review the information and contest its accuracy or completeness.
- CAL FIRE uses personal information only for the specified purposes, or purposes consistent with those purposes, unless CAL FIRE obtains the consent of the subject of the information, or unless required or allowed by law or regulation. The Public Records Act exists to ensure that California government is open and that the public has a right to have access to appropriate records and information possessed by many state and local government agencies. At the same time, there are exceptions to the laws that recognize 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.
- CAL FIRE uses information security safeguards. Regarding the personal information of individuals collected or maintained by CAL FIRE, CAL FIRE takes reasonable precautions to protect such information against loss, unauthorized access, and illegal use or disclosure. CAL FIRE uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption software to protect the security of individuals' personal information during transmission of such information through CAL FIRE's Web sites. Such personal information is stored by CAL FIRE in secure locations. CAL FIRE'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 CAL FIRE's staff whose work requires such access. Confidential information is destroyed according to CAL FIRE's records retention schedule. CAL FIRE conducts periodic reviews to ensure that proper information management policies and procedures are understood and followed.
In general, CAL FIRE encourages all individuals to use appropriate safeguards to secure their computers and the information on those computers.