The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) covers social media records in Kansas, defining records as "any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained, or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency." The act also explicitly mentions that "computer data is a 'record'" and that records are not restricted to written information, thus encompassing photos and videos shared by public agencies on social media.
VI. RECORDS SUBJECT TO KORA
B. KORA applies to public records, not to private records.
1. “‘Public record’ means any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency. . . .” K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 45-217(g)(1).
a. Use of the phrase “regardless of form or characteristics” means that “public records are not restricted to written records.” Burroughs v. Thomas, 23 Kan.App.2d 769, Syl. ¶ 1 (1997) (holding that autopsy photos are public records). 10
b. Computer data is a “record.” State ex rel. Stephan v. Harder, 230 Kan. 573, 582 (1982) (considering prior records statute); see also AGO 94-104; 89-106; 88-152; and 87-137. 1) Data must be provided in the form requested if the public agency has the capability of producing it in that form.
The State of Kansas adopted a social media policy in August 2015 that applies to all state agencies and executive branch employees. This policy specifies that social media records in Kansas must adhere to the public records retention requirements set out in KORA. This policy can serve as a guide for all public agencies that handle social media records in Kansas.
Official State Use
State of Kansas agencies that choose to enhance their communications strategies by utilizing social media in carrying out their functions/missions must do so in ways that maintain good order and discipline, network security, comply with public records retention legal requirements and ensure consistency with State and agency media standards. Agency public information officers and communications directors are charged with administering the use of social media by the State agencies in which they are employed.