Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Idaho Public Records Act and Social Media

The Idaho Public Records Act requires that agencies retain records for any content “prepared, owned, used or retained” by an agency “regardless of physical form or characteristics.” Therefore, social media records in Idaho should be considered a public record under the Law.

Guidance from the Idaho Attorney General

The Idaho Attorney General has issued guidance on the Idaho Public Records Act. Although social media records in Idaho are not specifically addressed, the document does clarify what types of records should be considered “public records.” The Attorney general stresses that the Idaho Code definition of “public records” is an “extremely broad concept” that allows for e-mail and text messages to be considered public records despite not being separately addressed. This guidance suggests that the Idaho Public Records Act governs social media records in Idaho and is subject to the same laws as any other public record.

Idaho Social Media Records Management in Practice

The City of Eagle, Idaho, has implemented a robust social media policy stating that social media records are subject to the Idaho Public Records Act and must be retained accordingly. The policy establishes instructions for handling records, including requiring the archive to “preserves the integrity of the original record and is easily accessible.” This policy is a strong example of handling social media records in Idaho to minimize risk and prepare for fulfilling public records requests.


How Social Media Archiving Works

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