Government Agency Website Privacy in the State of Colorado

Government Agency Website Privacy in the State of Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 is a government data protection and privacy law that was enacted in 2003. The law was passed for the purpose of protecting the various forms of personally identifiable information that government agencies within the state of Colorado collect, store, and disclose during the course of their respective operations. To this point, the law requires that all government agencies create privacy policies that can be used to regulate their websites, ensuring that the personal data of all parties involved is protected at all times. Furthermore, the law also outlines the specific data elements pertaining to citizens within the state of Colorado that are protected from unauthorized dissemination.

How is a government agency defined under the law?

Under the provisions of Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 a governmental entity is defined as “any authority, county, municipality, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state of Colorado; any institution, department, agency, or authority of any of the foregoing; and any other entity, organization, or corporation formed by intergovernmental agreement or other contracts between or among any of the foregoing.” Alternatively, the law defines a state agency as “any department, division, board, bureau, commission, institution, or agency of the state.”

What are the duties of government agencies under the law?

The provisions of Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 requires government agencies within the state to create privacy policies for the respective online websites. These privacy policies must contain the following elements:

  • A general statement expressing support for the personal privacy and data integrity of individuals that visit and interact with the website.
  • A provision stating that the website will collect the minimal amount of personal information necessary to complete a particular task or transaction.
  • A clear notice detailing the applicability of the Colorado Open Records Act.
  • A method that members of the public can use to provide feedback as it relates to compliance with the law.
  • A statement declaring that the privacy policy protects all forms of personal data, irrespective of the source or medium of said data.
  • The specific steps and measures that the government agency is taking to protect the privacy and information of visitors to their online website.

How is personal information defined under the law?

The data elements concerning Colorado residents that are covered by the provisions of Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 includes but are not limited to:

  • First or last name.
  • Drivers license.
  • Residence or physical address.
  • Email address.
  • Telephone number.
  • Birthdate.
  • Credit or debit card information.
  • Social security numbers.
  • Medical and healthcare information.
  • Mother’s maiden name.
  • Demographic information.
  • Religious affiliation.
  • State identification card.
  • Passport information.

Data protection and redaction

As government agencies within Colorado are charged with protecting the privacy and personal information of all visitors to their websites, they have the daunting task of securing the data of thousands of residents across the state. To this end, automatic redaction software can be used to safeguard the personal information of Colorado residents when they log into government agency websites, ensuring that their information remains confidential at all times. Furthermore, as these software programs contain automatic functionality, are easy to use, and can render various forms of personal information inaccessible to the general public, they are ideal for maintaining compliance with legislation such as Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502.

While Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 has been amended several times since the law was initially passed in 2003, the purpose of the law remains the same. As American citizens will have to log onto government and state agency websites to complete a number of objectives, from obtaining a passport to renting a local public space within their community, securing the personal information of these individuals must be a top priority. Subsequently, the provisions of Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-502 guarantees as much, as the various sections established in the law place a wide range of data privacy responsibilities on government agencies that operate within the state.