The Arizona Public Records Law, Data Privacy and Protection

The Arizona Public Records Law, Data Privacy and Protection

The Arizona Public Records Law is a public records and data privacy law that was originally enacted in 1901. The law has been amended several times since being passed in 1901, most notably in 2000, when the language of the law was changed to reflect the rise of electronic records and documentation in accordance with an increase in online communications during the turn of the century. With all this being said, the Arizona Public Records Law sets forth the requirements that state and government agencies must adhere to as it concerns making their public records and information accessible to residents of the state. Furthermore, the law also outlines the specific public records that are exempt from disclosure under the law.

How are public records defined under the law?

The Arizona Public Records Law defines personal records as “books, papers, maps, photographs, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by a governmental agency in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved by the agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of government. Examples of public records and other matters include calendars, reports, legal memoranda, policies and procedures, accident reports, training videos and materials, tape recordings of meetings where there are no written minutes, personnel records, case files, and databases.”

What are the duties of public bodies within Arizona under the law?

The Arizona Public Records Law mandates that public bodies within the state take the steps and measures needed to ensure that residents of the state have access to their respective public records and related information. These steps and measures include but are not limited to:

What public records are exempt from the law?

As is the case with all public records laws, certain records and government information will be exempt from dissemination. To this point, some of the public records and government information that are exempt under the provisions of the Arizona Public Records Law include:

Public records law and redaction

As the provisions of the Arizona Public Records Law require state agencies to redact certain categories of personally identifiable information from public records prior to releasing these records to the public, automatic redaction software is an ideal way to maintain compliance with the law. Through automatic redaction software, public bodies and state agencies within Arizona can remove personal information from public records in a manner that is both efficient and effective, as these software programs allow users to redact personal data in a matter of seconds. Through these means, public bodies can maintain compliance with legislation such as the Arizona Public Records Law.

As the taxpayer dollars of everyday working American citizens are used to fund projects and endeavors that are undertaken by both the U.S. federal government, as well as state and local governments around the country, legislation that allows these citizens to inspect records and information detailing the activities of their elected officials is of the utmost importance. Within the state of Arizona, such legislation has taken the form of the Arizona Public Records Law, as the various sections of the law grant residents of the state the right to request a greater level of transparency and accountability from their local government.

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