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Tennessen Warning
TENNESSEN WARNING (Minn. Statute 13.04, subd.2)

When an individual is asked to supply private or confidential data about himself/herself, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act requires the individual be informed of:
  • Purpose for collecting the data
  • Intended use of the data
  • Whether the individual possessing the data may refuse or is legally required to supply the requested information
  • Any known consequences arising from supplying the data
  • Any known consequences arising from refusing to supply the data
  • The identity of other persons or entities authorized by state or federal law to receive the data
The Tennessen Warning can be given orally or in writing. It is the position of the Minnesota Department of Administration that the data may only be used in accordance with the notice, or subsequent consent.

Such notice is called a Tennessen warning (named for Robert Tennessen, Senate author of the original Data Privacy Act).

When MDE Collects Data from You
If the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) asks you to provide data about yourself that are not public, it must give you a notice. The notice is sometimes called a Tennessen warning, and it controls what MDE does with the data that it collects from you. Usually, MDE can use and release the data it has collected from you only in the ways described in the notice. (For more information, scroll down.)

MDE will ask for your written permission if it needs to use or release private data that it collected from you in a different way, or if you ask MDE to release the data to another person. This permission is called informed consent. If you want MDE to release data to another person, you may use the consent form MDE provides.

Note that much of the private data held by MDE – primarily, student educational data – are not collected by MDE directly from the individual data subjects but rather are received by MDE from schools, which are required by both state and federal law to share this data with MDE. Those same federal and state laws also allow or direct MDE to share this data without your prior consent with a limited number of outside entities, such as other schools, the federal government, MDE contractors and other legally qualified entities.

From the MN Department of Education

Minnesota Statutes
Rights of Subjects of Data
Definition of Tennessen Warning, in legal statute.

Tennessen Warning Notice
from Information Policy Analysis Division, MN Dept. of Administration