The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Up for consideration again in this session of the General Assembly is the Tennessee Information Protection Act that aims to guard Tennesseans private data collected online by Big Tech corporations.
Representative Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville-District 45) explained in a phone interview with The Tennessee Conservative that currently there is no law in place in the Volunteer state that prevents Big Tech companies like Amazon, Meta (Facebook, etc), TikTok, etc. from selling personal data to third parties.
In addition, there is no avenue for residents who wish to have said companies to delete their personal information and/or have it returned to them upon request.
Garrett said of his new legislation is “protection of the virtual you.”
Upon the publication of this article, Garrett’s House bill is not yet available for viewing on the General Assembly website. However, Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson-District 11) is carrying the legislation on the Senate side as Senate Bill 0073 (SB0073).
In addition to regulations put forth by the bill about the usage of personal data by Big Tech companies, it also gives residents an avenue to ensure that companies are in compliance with the law.
If passed, the Act gives the Tennessee Attorney General the authority to sue on resident’s behalf if the companies are found not to be in compliance.
Garrett told us that the legislation is meant to specifically target large companies who can afford to be in compliance with the law and not smaller Tennessee-based companies.
However, he states that the cost for companies to comply was greatly exaggerated when the legislation was killed last year in the Senate Commerce Committee.
Garrett stated that he is personally lobbying his legislation to other lawmakers to garner votes for passage and that with his bill, “The consumer wins in the end.”
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com