📱Tennessee SB 138 / HB 761

Issue: Device Filters

Latest Action: Deferred to 2024 on March 20, 2023

As introduced, would enact the "Youth Mental Health Safety Act," as described below.

This bill requires manufacturers of tablets and smart phones ("devices") activated in this state to manufacture their devices in a manner such that a filter that does the following is automatically enabled:

  1. Prevents the user from accessing or downloading material that is harmful to minors on:
    1. Mobile data networks;
    2. Applications owned and controlled by the manufacturer;
    3. Wired internet networks; and
    4. Wireless internet networks;
  2. Notifies the user of the device when the filter blocks the device from downloading an application or accessing a website;
  3. Provides a user who has a passcode the opportunity to unblock a filtered application or website; and
  4. Reasonably precludes a user, other than a user who has a passcode, the opportunity to deactivate, modify, or uninstall the filter.

This bill further provides that a manufacturer commits a violation of this bill if:

  1. A device manufactured by the manufacturer is activated in this state;
  2. The device does not, upon activation in this state, enable a filter that complies with the above provisions of this bill; and
  3. A minor accesses material that is harmful to minors on the device.

This bill specifies that it does not affect a private cause of action existing under other law, including contract.

This bill will not apply to a manufacturer that makes a good faith effort to provide a device that, upon activation of the device in this state, automatically enables a generally accepted and commercially reasonable method of filtration in accordance with this bill and industry standards.

A violation of this bill will constitute a violation of the Consumer Protection Act. Generally, a violation of that Act is a Class B misdemeanor and remedies under the Act include injunction relief and, in a private cause of action, a person harmed by a willful violation may recover treble damages. This bill specifies that for the purpose of assessing a penalty for a violation, a manufacturer will be considered to have committed a separate violation for each device manufactured on or after January 1, 2024, and activated in this state on which:

  1. A filter is not automatically enabled; and
  2. A minor encounters material harmful to minors.

This bill authorizes the attorney general and reporter to institute proceedings involving alleged violations of this part in Davidson County circuit or chancery court or another venue otherwise permitted by law; and prohibits a court from assessing costs against the attorney general and reporter or the state in actions commenced under this part.

More Info
Read the Bill: TN SB 138 TN HB 761
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Bill Status
  • Introduced
  • Passed First Committee
  • Passed First Chamber
  • Passed Both Committees
  • Passed Both Chambers
  • Enacted

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