Personal Records Protection Law in the State of Iowa

Personal Records Protection Law in the State of Iowa

Iowa Code § 22.11, otherwise known as the Fair Information Practices Act, is a personal data privacy law that was enacted in 2014. Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act was passed for the purpose of protecting the personal records that government bodies and agencies collect from residents within the state of Iowa. Moreover, the provisions of the law are also designed to promote transparency as it relates to the manner in which the personal information of Iowa residents is collected, maintained, and disseminated by government agencies within the state. To this point, the law outlines the steps that said agencies must follow when collecting and maintaining personal records relating to Iowa citizens.

How are public records defined under the law?

Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act defines public records as “all records, documents, tape, or other information, stored or preserved in any medium, of or belonging to this state or any county, city, township, school corporation, political subdivision, nonprofit corporation other than a fair conducting a fair event as provided in chapter 174, whose facilities or indebtedness are supported in whole or in part with property tax revenue and which is licensed to conduct pari-mutuel wagering pursuant to chapter 99D, or tax-supported district in this state, or any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, council, or committee of any of the foregoing.”

What are the duties of government bodies under the law?

Government and state agencies within the state of Iowa have a number of duties and responsibilities with respect to safeguarding the personal records of residents within the state. Most notably, all state agencies are required to develop and implement rules and regulations concerning the following:

  • The categories of personally identifiable information that the agency collects.
  • The agency’s legal authority to collect personally identifiable information.
  • How an agency will store the personally identifiable information it collects.
  • The specific personal records maintained by the agency that contain personally identifiable information.
  • Whether the agency uses a data processing system that can be used to match, collate, or permit the comparison of personal records containing personally identifiable information with other such records in another record system.

What’s more, Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act also mandates that state and government agencies within Iowa develop guidelines relating to the protection of public records. These guidelines include:

  • What agency records will be open for public examination, as well as which records will be deemed confidential, partially open, or partially confidential.
  • The agency’s legal authority concerning the confidentiality of personal records.
  • The procedures for providing the general public with access to public records.
  • The procedures that an Iowa resident must adhere to when looking to object, dissent, or make additions to public records pertaining to them, unless such review has been prohibited by other applicable legislation within the state.
  • The steps that must be taken when transferring personal records to another agency within the state of Iowa.
  • The agency’s intended use of personal records pertaining to residents within Iowa
  • Whether the submission of personal records is optional or mandatory, as well as the consequences of choosing not to provide an agency with such information.

Public records maintenance and redaction

As the very nature of public records entails ensuring that such information is protected at all times, government and state agencies are faced with a tall task when it comes to safeguarding the personal records of individuals across the state. To this end, one method that can be used to protect the privacy of personal records of citizens residing in the state of Iowa is the utilization of automatic redaction software. By using an automatic redaction software program, state and government agencies within Iowa can effectively secure the personal records of individuals that live within the state, as these programs allow users to render personal information inaccessible. As such, bad actors will not be able to compromise such information, allowing state and government agencies to maintain compliance with legislation such as Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act.

As virtually every U.S. citizen will have personally identifiable information concerning them contained within a public record in their respective state, legislation such as Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act serves to guarantee that this information remains confidential at all times. Furthermore, as public records will be more likely to contain sensitive personal information such as physical addresses, phone numbers, and personal identifiers such as social security numbers, confirming that this information is protected is of the utmost importance. With all this being said, Iowa’s Fair Information Practices Act gives residents of the state the assurance that the personal information they supply to state and government agencies remains protected from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure.