Corporation Commission works to make sure agency i-phones are subject to Public Records law

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As he raised questions about the use of private I-phones and cell phones by employees of the Corporation Commission, Oklahoma regulator Bob Anthony got a surprise.

During Thursday’s meeting, he was informed the agency has 350 business cell phones used by its employees.

“I wouldn’t have guessed we had 350 phones,” said Anthony. “I guess I might be on a list to get one. Better for me not to use my personal phone for government business.”

Anthony raised questions after a news article revealed some state agency workers use the “Signal” app which uses encrypted messaging and deletes communications, thus rendering them ineffective for the Oklahoma Public Records law. That bothered the commissioner who had the item on the Commission agenda for discussion.

“I thought it would be good to review where we are.”

General Administrator Brandy Wreath explained the 350 phones will eventually use new software which will prevent workers from adding new apps.

“The new software will limit what they can put on their phones,” said Wreath. “With the new software, we won’t have to worry about it.”

Wreath explained that agency employees have been notified that if they use their personal phones for government work, they “may be creating a state record.” Which would make their personal phones subject to the Public Records Act.