Web Policies

State of Tennessee Web Site Privacy Statement
The privacy, confidence, and trust of individuals who visit the Tennessee Department of State Web site are important to us. No personal information is collected at this site unless it is provided voluntarily by an individual while participating in an activity that asks for the information. The following paragraphs disclose the information gathering and usage practices for the web site.

Collection of Information
The Department of State collects only the personal information that is necessary to provide the information or services requested by an individual. "Personal information" refers to any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual who is the subject of the information. This is the same information that an individual might provide when visiting a government office and includes such items as an individual’s name, address, or phone number. We also collect statistical information that helps us understand how people are using the web site so we can continually improve our services. The information collected is not associated with any specific individual and no attempt is made to profile individuals who browse the web site. You may be asked to participate in surveys at this site. Participation is optional, and the choice to participate or not to participate will have no effect on your ability to use other features of the site.

Use of Information
The Department of State uses the collected information to respond appropriately to requests. This may be to respond directly to you or to improve the web site. E-mail or other information requests sent to the State web site may be maintained or forwarded to the appropriate agencies in order to respond to the request. Survey information is used for the purpose designated in the survey.

Retention of Information
Personal information that is not submitted knowingly by users of this web site is neither retained nor shared in any manner or for any purpose. Records needed to support State program functions are retained, managed, and accessible in record-keeping or filing systems in accordance with established records disposition authorizations approved by the State’s Public Records Commission. Records transmitted to this site will be identified, managed, protected, and retained as long as they are needed to meet historical, administrative, fiscal, or legal requirements.

Public Disclosure
Regardless of whether information is provided to the Department of State by personal visit, mail, or web site, it becomes public record and is open to public inspection unless protected by State or Federal law. Public records are subject to the rules and requirements located in Tennessee Code Annotated Title 10 Chapter 7. A public record is defined as follows: "Public record(s)" or "state record(s)" means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency. (T.C.A. 10-7-301 (6)) Based on the definition of public records, be aware that any information collected at this site could be made available to the public. Requests for public records will be examined for compliance with public record laws.

Any web page or application at this site that uses cookies will identify itself as such. Cookies are short and simple text files that are stored on a user’s computer hard drive by Web sites. They are used to keep track of and store information so the user does not have to supply the information multiple times. The information that is collected through cookies at this site is handled in the same manner as other information collected here. You can configure your web browser to refuse cookies or to notify you when a web site attempts to send you a cookie. You can also check your hard drive for cookie files and delete them from your computer.

Web Site Security
The Tennessee Department of State is committed to the security of the information that is either available from or collected by this web site. The Department of State has taken multiple steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to, authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption.

Linking to the Department of State Site
Permission to link to the Department of State site is not required, but such links may not present state Web pages within frames. In addition, be aware that the page you link to may change without notice. Sites linking to Department of State pages should periodically verify those links for accuracy.

Links to Other Sites
This site has links to many other Web sites. These include links to Web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions. These links to outside sources are provided for the convenience of our users, and their inclusion on our web site does not, in any way, imply endorsement. The Department of State has no responsibility for the content or maintenance of these sites, and we suggest that you review the privacy statements for these sites.

Accessibility Statement
The Department of State Web site is subject to the same accessible Web standards as federal agencies. Section 508 of the Federal Register establishes requirements for federal electronic and information technology, and the federal Access Board has issued the standards to meet those requirements.

We are committed to making our site accessible to all users and we have included several features designed to improve accessibility for all users. We welcome comments on how to improve the site's accessibility for users with disabilities.

If you use assistive technology and the format of any material prevents your ability to access the information, please contact us by mail, phone, or e-mail for assistance. In order to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please note the nature of your accessibility concern, the preferred format in which to receive the online material, the Web page address of the requested material, and the best way to contact you.

Hard copy documents are available for those unable to access or view the downloadable files on this Web site. Simply contact us by mail, phone, or e-mail to make your request.

Social Media Policies

Editorial Policy Statement
The Tennessee Secretary of State (also referred to as the “Department of State”) may publish content on social media, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn platforms. The Department of State has the sole and exclusive right to review, edit, and remove content from its social media platforms for any reason.

Information posted on social media platforms does not and shall not create or constitute an “official policy” of the Department, and will in no way grant any person or entity any rights, privileges, or standing in any matter. Communications made through the Tennessee Secretary of State social media platforms, email, or messaging system shall not constitute a legal or official notice to the TSLA, its employees, or the Department of State. Individuals and entities should not rely solely on information posted on social media; rather, posted information should be verified through official channels at the Department of State. For contact information, please visit the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page, or visit https://sos.tn.gov/.

Comments Policy Statement
The Department of State seeks to engage and interact with the public, and welcomes comments and questions about its divisions. The following policies apply to the content of the Department’s social media platforms.

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s social media platforms are moderated. The Department will only post or maintain comments from individuals over 13 years of age. The Department of State reserves the right to delete any post that it deems to be irrelevant.

The Department of State strives to respond to questions within two business days of receipt. If you have not received a response to your question within this time period, please contact the Communications Director directly at (615) 253-2668. Members of the media are also asked to pose questions directly to the Communications Director and to refrain from submitting questions via social media platforms in the form of comments or other social media postings.

The Department of State will not post comments that contain abusive, vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups.

Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in the comment being removed. The content of all comments are released into the public domain. Do not submit anything you do not wish to broadcast to the general public. All posts may be considered to be a public record that is subject to disclosure under Tenn. Code Ann. §10-7-503.

Users should not post personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers. The Department of State is not responsible for ensuring that such information is removed prior to posting.

External Link Disclaimer
Links to external Internet sites on blogs maintained by the Tennessee Department of State are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only, and do not constitute an endorsement of the content of their Web sites or of their policies, products, services, or opinions. The Department of State bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Please contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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