NTC Policy Update for April 4, 2021
Written by: Alex Curtis | Posted Apr 4, 2021

The NTC regularly provides policy updates in our newsletter and policy specific emails.


Tennessee Data Privacy Legislation

Does your organization maintain records of your customers or business development leads? Does your marketing department use online platforms to advertise to future customers? Does your organization provide services where customer logins are needed on your website or you use use website cookies to log website visitors?

If you answered YES or even MAYBE to any of the above questions, please read the following and forward the details to your legal counsel:

A version of Florida’s proposed data protection legislation has been introduced in Tennessee. Over the past few weeks, we explained that the legislation has not made available publicly and that has still not changed. We have a new draft of the legislation, which pulls from a combination of California and Virginia law, and some of the worst parts from proposed legislation from Florida and Oklahoma. The bill will be amended with this data privacy legislation – HB1467 / SB1554 – this is the most recent version we have received as of last week including these 26 pages of new rules that Tennessee businesses, large and small, must comply with in regards to collection of “consumer information,” which includes a business’ records, online marketing and ad groups, databases, web traffic, etc that contain consumer identifiable information.

The bar is low for what businesses would need to comply with these rules—businesses that maintain data or use third party tools to manage data of as few as 75,000 identifiable records, which also includes individually identifiable web traffic cookies! The rules, which include how any consumer can individually manage the information businesses may obtain, whether intentionally or incidentally. Enforcement by State Attorney General includes fines up to now $15,000 (up from the previous amendment of $7,500 fine per incident). The legislation enables Tennessee consumers to file legal claims via a private cause of actions – read: mass exposure to class-action lawsuits.

Unfortunately, legislators are using rhetoric, via social media, claiming this bill targets “Big Tech” headquartered outside our state. However, the largest impact of this legislation would be small and medium size Tennessee businesses that do not consider their businesses to be “tech companies” at all. We are working now to educate legislators about the harmful impact of this legislation and we need your help.

IF YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES BUSINESS IN TENNESSEE, THIS LEGISLATION WILL IMPACT YOU. We need your feedback and please put us in contact with your organization’s leadership.

Download a report of the bills that will be considered this week in committee this week.

Computer Science Education

Unfortunately, HB754 the legislation that the NTC has been working with a state-wide coalition to support legislation that would offer all high school students the opportunity to learn computer science and the professional development for educators to teach it, has been pulled from notice and will be considered again in 2022. Last week, legislation supporters including Meka Egwuekwe of Code Crew and Alex Curtis from the NTC testified before the TN House Education Instruction Subcommittee in support of providing all high school students access to at least one computer science course.

Our next steps: We will continue to work with the sponsors of the legislation, Governor Lee, the Department of Education, School Board organizations and more to make our case for making these courses available in all high schools. We will continue to build support from organizations like yours.

Please urge your organization to sign a support letter, please contact Alex Curtis for more information.

Social Media & Big Tech

We are focused on two social media bills still being considered, SB1218 and SB1219.

We need your feedback on this legislation.

Immunization discouraging policy

Several bills have been introduced that discourage immunization at time when putting COVID vaccines in arms is a priority to opening schools and businesses more widely across our state. Organizations like Life Science Tennessee are taking the lead on these and related issues. These bills include: HB 10/SB7SB186/HB172SB187/HB13, and SB564/HB1269.

We need your feedback on this legislation.