Published Date: 2020-03-19
State computers and emails are not for personal use
Data may be a matter of public record!
CAPT cannot stress enough how important it is to avoid state computers for personal Internet browsing or to use your state email address for personal or union correspondence. Using state email to contact your union rep for brief communications or to arrange representation is permissible, but please know that your state employer can monitor all messages. Furthermore, just recently, a patient in a state hospital filed a California Public Records Act Request (CPRA) seeking copies of a Psych Tech’s state email correspondence and Internet activity.
Under the CPRA, government agencies must make government records accessible to the public upon request, unless the record is otherwise exempted by law. In essence, as a state employee, your activities are a matter of public record. A public record is “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.” The person making the CPRA request does not have to justify or explain the reason for exercising his or her fundamental right of access.
The patient’s reasons behind targeting one of our member PTs for their Internet activity and email correspondence is unknown and not relevant. Whether it was for revenge or intimidation purposes or totally random, the fact of the matter remains, you put your job at risk whenever you use state resources for personal business on state time. Your employer does not need a CPRA request to monitor your state emails or Internet activity. The state can see everything you do at all times on its network. After all, it is their Internet connection. Browsing in “incognito” mode doesn’t work either. Your employer can always access your browsing history on their network. The incognito mode only hides your browsing history from other users who have access to the device.
March 19, 2020 | Download Flier