Minnesota's Government Data Practices Act applies to social media records, as defined by any information in any form that is collected, created, received, maintained, or disseminated by government. This means that social media posts made by government entities and public comments fall under Minnesota public records laws, which presume that state and local government records are accessible to the public.
Data and Entities Covered by the Act
The act applies to information in any form held by certain government agencies.
All information in any form (written, computerized, on recording tape, microfilm, etc.) collected, created, received, maintained, or disseminated by government (Minn. Stat. § 13.02, subd. 7)
Entities Covered State agencies
Several cities and counties in Minnesota have implemented policies that explicitly recognize social media records as subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. Below are some examples of such policies:
Please note that Carver County does not share information gathered through its social media sites with third parties for promotional purposes. However, any information you provide to the County is subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. This law classifies certain information as available to the public on request.
Chisago County has a clear policy that outlines the requirements for retaining social media records under Minnesota public records laws.
H. Chisago County’s social media sites are subject to State of Minnesota public records laws. Any content maintained in a social media format that is related to County business, including a list of subscribers and posted communication, is a public record and subject to a data retention schedule.