California Promotes Secure, Appropriate Use of Social Media Sites for State Government, Issues Policy

State Technology Update - February 26, 2010

The State of California has officially adopted the use of social media tools to promote communication and transparency for Californians interacting with state government. The Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) today released Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) 10-02 which outlines the use requirements for using social media sites such as FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube.

"The more we increase the state's online presence to enhance communication and transparency, the better we are able to serve Californians," said Teri Takai, California's Chief Information Officer. "At the same time we must be diligent to ensure we use social media tools in a way that is secure and appropriate for official business. This policy provides a risk management framework for agencies to consider in their use of these innovative and dynamic tools."

The policy encourages state officials to use social media tools, while requiring that only those users who are authorized and have been trained regarding their roles, responsibilities and the security risks as outlined in the policy, have access to social media sites while at work as a state employee. It also requires that agencies assign the management and monitoring of official social media sites to the same internal organization or individual that oversees public communications for the agency.

The policy is accompanied by a Social Media Standard to help state agencies consider the various risk factors associated with the use of social media sites. The Policy Letter can be found online at http://www.cio.ca.gov/Government/IT_Policy/TL.html. The Social Media Standard can also be found online in Section 66B of the Statewide Information Management Manual (SIMM) at http://www.cio.ca.gov/Government/IT_Policy/SIMM.html.

When the OCIO was established in January 2008, it was the intent of the Legislature and Governor to create an agency that, among other things, establishes policies and standards to ensure that state information technology (IT) systems run effectively. Through changes to the State Administrative Manual (SAM) and the SIMM, the OCIO creates statewide policy for the Executive Branch to ensure coordination as the agency works to oversee IT activities with a common direction and vision.

A current list of state agencies using social media tools can be found on California's web portal in the Connect With Us section.

Contact: Bill Maile (916) 549-2845