From the Hotline: Privacy and Confidentiality Statements
Question: Can you provide standard wording for our outgoing emails that address privacy and confidentiality? We are a California employer.
Answer: Federal and state laws do not require employers to issue privacy statements in their outgoing emails. However, it is a common practice and is designed as a deterrent to breaching confidential information.
We typically do not provide sample language to use in outgoing communications; however, we would like to share a resource from the California Office of Privacy Protection (COPP). This agency provides best practices and guidelines on privacy in the workplace for California businesses.
We recommend consulting with legal counsel on creating an effective statement that your company may want to consider for outgoing communications.
From the COPP:
“California employers are encouraged to download the publication A California Business Privacy Handbook produced by the California Office of Privacy Protection (COPP). The purpose of the handbook is to give California businesses a simple guide to basic practices for handling personal information responsibly with relevant citations to California and federal law. The office also provides the following additional publications for employers regarding privacy:
- Recommended Practices on Notice of Security Breach Involving Personal Information.
- Security Breach First Steps.
- Recommended Practices on Protecting the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers.