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Trust and privacy

The City of San Francisco understands that trust is a core foundation of the relationship between us and you, a job seeker. The statement and policy below describe how the City will process and protect your information.

Applicant data processing statement and privacy policy

  1. Purpose

    The City and County of San Francisco (City) collects certain personal information through its applicant tracking system. This policy provides information about how job applicant information is utilized. This privacy policy applies only to the City’s applicant tracking system and does not apply to or affect other City privacy policies.

  2. Definitions
    1. Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

      The systems utilized by the City to collect and process information from applicants, including the ATS and all peripherally connected systems such as, but not limited to, assessment, examination, communications, and reference checking tools.

    2. Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

      The systems utilized by the City to collect and manage information about current and former City employees.

    3. Applicant Information

      Data about an applicant, their identifying information, employment and education history, assessment results, and any additional information voluntarily provided by the applicant during the application process or through communication with City employees as part of the hiring process.

    4. Employment Opportunity Website (SF|Careers,

      The City’s official job board, providing a listing of all open opportunities and the availability of registering as a member of a Talent Community.

    5. Talent Community

      A voluntary mailing list within the ATS that allows applicants to express interest in City employment without directly applying for an open opportunity.

  3. How Applicant Information is Collected

    The City collects Applicant Information voluntarily through the completion of an employment application or registering as a member of a “Talent Community” through the functionality provided by the ATS.

    The City also collects Applicant Information when an applicant applies for a job opportunity utilizing a third-party job aggregator such as: LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and SmartRecruiters.

  4. How Applicant Information is Stored

    All applicant information is stored within secure cloud-based data facilities located within the United States.

  5. How Applicant Information is Used

    The City does not sell, trade, or exchange Applicant Information with third parties and will only use applicant information for the purposes of evaluation for employment with the City when necessary. This includes the assessment and review of Applicant Information with regard to a particular exam opportunity or role and the promotion of current or upcoming openings. Applicant Information may be securely processed by multiple ATS-related systems and authorized personnel of the City in order to conduct this evaluation.

  6. How Applicant Information is Shared

    The City shares applicant information with its third-party connected systems for the purpose of processing and evaluating applications. Third-party providers are contractually prohibited from further sharing applicant information except as otherwise provided by law.

    Additionally, certain applicant information may be shared in a raw, summarized, de-identified, or aggregated manner, as required by law, for the purposes of responding to a proper request for public records (e.g., California Public Records Act or San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance request) or other legal order.

  7. Applicant's Right to Know

    Applicants have the right to know what information the City currently holds about their applications. However, there is a compelling government interest in protecting the integrity of the fair and merit-based hiring process. As such, the City reserves the right to limit when applicants may access information about themselves or their applications.

  8. Information Retention

    Job applications for City jobs are a public record. Federal, state and local laws govern data retention requirements for public agencies . The City must maintain Applicant Information in accordance with these laws and regulations. Applications for City jobs are public records and will be retained for a period of no less than three years from the hire date of an applicant or the expiration of an eligible list.

  9. Applicant Communication Preferences

    The City will use the information provided in the applicant’s application to communicate about the status of any open applications and to share current or upcoming job opportunities based on applicant of interest. The following communication preferences are available to applicants:

    1. Application-Related Emails

      Applicant cannot opt out

      Application-related emails include automated and user-triggered emails from the ATS and all related systems. These messages are necessary for the processing of the application. Applicants may withdraw their application if they wish to be no longer considered for this or future roles (in the case of an eligible list) and to opt out of future emails.

      When a single public job ad is used to fill many positions (for example, class-based eligible lists), applicants may receive a number of similar emails for each open position. This is expected as part of the process and is in line with Civil Service Commission rules.

    2. Application-Related Text (SMS) Messaged

      Applicant can opt in and may opt out

      The applicant is given the opportunity to opt in to receiving text message communications from the City in relation to an open application. The City will never use this consent to market jobs or to communicate via text messaging that is not in relation to a current application. Applicants may opt out of these communications.

    3. Non-Application-Related Emails

      Applicant may opt out

      When an applicant joins a talent community, the applicant consents to being contacted about City employment and upcoming or current job openings. Applicants may opt out of these communications.

  10. SF| Careers – Employment Opportunity Website

    The City maintains an employment opportunity website at This website is used to provide information to applicants about upcoming job opportunities and the hiring process. THE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY WEBSITE DOES NOT ACCEPT APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT; applicants are redirected to the ATS system to submit applications.

    1. The employment opportunity website uses tracking cookies and analytics provided by Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of the website.

    2. Utilization of the saved search functionality on the home page does not create any data that is stored by the employment opportunity website, saved searches are stored on the user’s local client as a cookie.

    3. To the extent that information is provided through services provided by the employment opportunity website, information is stored within the ATS or its peripheral systems and is governed by paragraphs 1-9 of this document.