Per Sections 30-2-10 through 30-2-50 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office has established this policy on the collection and dissemination of personal information. This policy applies to all personal information collected to fulfill a legitimate public purpose whether obtained through an online visit or an in-person visit to our office. A person or private entity shall not knowingly obtain or use personal information obtained from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office for commercial solicitation directed to any person in this state. (Please see Definitions section below for explanation of terms.)
The purpose of this policy is to inform individuals about the collection and use of personal information by the SC Secretary of State’s Office. Nothing herein should be construed to, nor does it, create any new or different rights than those available under existing state and federal laws.
For this policy, “personal information” means information that identifies or describes an individual including, but not limited to, an individual’s photograph or digitized image, social security number, date of birth, driver’s identification number, and education level. Also, “personal information” includes financial status, bank account numbers, account or identification numbers issued by and/or used by any federal or state governmental agency or private financial institution, employment history, height, weight, race, other physical details, signature, biometric identifiers, and any credit records or reports. “Legitimate public purpose” means a purpose or use, which falls clearly within the statutory charge or mandates of any agency, board, commission, institution, department, or other state entity. “Commercial solicitation” does not include contact for: (a) offering membership in a credit union; (b) notification of continuing education opportunities sponsored by not-for-profit professional associations: (c) selling or marketing banking, insurance, securities, or commodities services provided by an institution or entity defined in or required to comply with the Federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act, 113 Stat. 1338: or (d) contacting persons for political purposes using the information on file with state or local voter registration offices.
Use, Collection and Retention of Personally Identifiable Information through the Internet
When you visit our website, we may automatically gather and store information about your visit so that we can track how our website is used, to make improvements. This information is stored and used in the aggregate only and is not used to contact you personally.
- If you are using this site to read or download information, we may collect and store the following information for statistical purposes:
- the IP address from which you access our website;
- the name of the domain from which you access the Internet;
- the type of browser and operating system used to access our website;
- the date and time you access our site;
- the pages, files, documents, and links that you visit; and
- the website URL that referred you to this website (the address for the last website you visited before visiting this one).
- If you are using this site to send us an email:
- By sending us an electronic mail message, you may be sending us personal information (e.g., name, home address, email address). One example of this would be an official Freedom of Information Act request. We may store the name and address of the requester to respond to the requestor to otherwise resolve the subject matter of your email.
- If you are using this site to register:
- Our site may ask visitors who request specific information to fill out a registration form. Other information that may be collected at this site through questionnaires, feedback forms, or other means, enables us to determine a visitor's interests, to provide better service to our customers.
Personal Information and Public Disclosure
In the state of South Carolina, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by a government agency. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public’s right to access certain records to preserve the privacy of individuals. Both state and federal laws authorize such exemptions. Information collected may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless such an exemption in law exists. If there is a conflict between this policy and a state or federal law governing the disclosure of public records, the applicable state or federal law shall control.
The Family Privacy Protection Act of 2002 prohibits persons or private entities from using any personal information obtained from the SC Secretary of State’s Office for commercial solicitation purposes. A person knowingly violating this prohibition is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the penalties specified in S.C. Code of Laws Section 30-2-50(D).
Non-SC Secretary of State’s Office Websites
Various websites will be linked through us. This includes websites of other governmental agencies, as well as websites of private entities. Many of these sites may not be subject to the South Carolina Code of Laws or may operate under different privacy standards. Visitors to those websites are advised to check the privacy statements of those sites and be cautious about providing personally identifiable information without a clear understanding of how the information will be used.
Limiting Access to Personal Information
The SC Secretary of State’s Office shall take reasonable measures to limit access to personal information. We have notified and instructed our staff of their responsibilities concerning the protection of personal information.
Party Responsible for Administration of the Policy
South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Statement of Notice