Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Iowa Open Records Law and Social Media

Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code governs open records and meetings in Iowa. In defining a “public record,” the Law includes all records “preserved in any medium” as being subject to open records policy requirements. This requirement qualifies social media records in Iowa as public records.

Guidance From the Iowa Public Information Board

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) is an independent agency appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, tasked with clarifying Iowa’s open meetings and public records laws. The IPIB recommends that the Iowa Open Records Law define “public records” broadly enough  to “encompass email messages and other electronic correspondence.” Its guidance suggests that social media records in Iowa do qualify as public records and should be preserved under Iowa Open Records Law requirements.

Iowa Social Media Records Management in Practice

Iowa City Public Library has implemented a comprehensive social media policy that clearly states its social media sites are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the State of Iowa public records laws. The City and the Library have determined that departments are responsible for maintaining social media records in an accessible format and complying with public records requests for social media content. This framework is a reliable model for handling social media records in Iowa.

Social Media Record Retention Legal News in Iowa

Read about Iowa cases and precedents involving social media and public record retention.


The director of Iowa’s Public Information Board Is Advising Iowa Public Officials to Avoid Social Media Networks That Can’t Be Archived For Public Records.

The director wrote a proposed advisory opinion urging elected officials and government employees not to use Snapchat and other smartphone apps that automatically delete communications in the interest of guaranteeing all residents’ access to public records.


How Social Media Archiving Works

Download the Solution Overview to see how social media archiving helps you achieve public records compliance. Automatically retain every post, photo, comment and more from your social pages for record retention.

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