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Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), including responses that no criminal record exists, are confidential. Sections 11142 and 11143 of the Penal Code provide for criminal penalties for the release of this information to unauthorized individuals.
Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution grants California citizens an absolute right to privacy. Individuals or agencies violating these privacy rights place themselves at both criminal and civil liability. The California right of privacy was created to curb, among other things, the over broad collection and retention of personal information by government agencies, the improper use of information properly obtained for a proper purpose, and the lack of a reasonable check on the accuracy of existing records. (White v. Davis (1975) 13 Cal.3d 75, 775.)
CORI shall be accessible only to the records custodian and/or hiring authority charged with determining the suitability for employment or licensing of an applicant. The information received shall be used by the requesting agency solely for the purpose for which it was requested and shall not be reproduced for secondary dissemination to any other employing or licensing agency.
The retention and sharing of information between employing and licensing agencies are strictly prohibited. The retention and sharing of information infringe upon the right of privacy and fails to meet the compelling state interest defined in Loder v. Municipal Court (1976) 17 Cal.3d 859. In addition, maintenance of redundant information separate from the information maintained by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) avoids the updates and makes it for DOJ to control dissemination of CORI as outlined in section 11105 of the Penal Code.