TikTok, a popular social media platform, has gained immense popularity worldwide, allowing users to create and share short videos set to music. However, in a significant development, Montana is set to become the first U.S.
Lawmakers in Montana passed a bill that specifically targets TikTok, making it illegal for app stores like Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store to offer the app for download. The bill was passed by a majority vote of 54 to 43, indicating a significant level of support for the ban within the state’s legislature.
It’s important to note that while the ban prohibits app stores from providing TikTok, individuals who already have the app on their personal devices will not be prohibited from using it. Therefore, the ban primarily aims to prevent new downloads of the app within Montana.
The decision to ban TikTok in Montana is driven by concerns about national security. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, which has raised apprehensions among lawmakers and officials across the U.S. political spectrum. There are concerns that the Chinese government could potentially access user data or influence the content displayed to American users on the platform.
In March, a congressional committee grilled TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, regarding these concerns. While Mr. Chew emphasized that TikTok would not spy on Americans, he did admit that there were instances where employees had used TikTok accounts to gather information about journalists. This admission added to the concerns surrounding the app’s potential security risks.
However, it’s worth noting that ByteDance has repeatedly denied being controlled by the Chinese government. Despite this denial, the U.S. government previously raised the possibility of requiring ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a potential ban in the country.
The penalties resulting from the ban in Montana primarily apply to companies rather than individual users. Businesses found in violation of the law could face penalties of up to $10,000 (£8,012). These penalties would be enforced by Montana’s Department of Justice.
The move by Montana to become the first U.S. state to ban TikTok on personal devices represents a significant step in addressing concerns over the app’s potential national security risks. However, the broader debate surrounding TikTok’s ownership, data privacy, and influence continues on a national level.
Montana to be first US state to ban TikTok on personal devices starting January 1st.
TikTok claims Montana’s ban violates First Amendment rights, amid global concerns over data privacy and Chinese government involvement.
Governor Gianforte, a Republican, expressed his intent to safeguard Montanans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance through a broader ban.
TikTok affirmed its commitment to defending the rights of its users, both within and beyond Montana, and assured them that they can continue using the platform to express themselves, earn a living, and find community.
According to a statement by TikTok, the platform is utilized by “hundreds of thousands of people” in Montana. The company is anticipated to contest the legislation through legal means.
In the previous month, Montana legislators approved a bill with a vote of 54 to 43, effectively prohibiting the use of TikTok on personal devices. The new legislation forbids app stores from providing TikTok for download, although individuals who already possess the app will not be restricted from using it.
Nonetheless, apprehensions regarding TikTok as a potential national security threat persist among various political factions in the United States. TikTok, being owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, raises particular concerns.
During the month of March, a congressional committee interrogated Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, regarding the potential accessibility of user data by the Chinese government and the potential influence they may exert over the content displayed to American users on the platform.
Despite acknowledging that employees had utilized the TikTok accounts of journalists to gather information about them, Mr. Shou persistently asserted that TikTok would never engage in spying on American individuals.
In March, the US government issued a statement indicating that ByteDance should either divest itself of TikTok or face the potential risk of a ban within the country.
The penalties imposed by the law are directed towards companies rather than individual users. Businesses found to be in violation of the legislation may face penalties of up to $10,000 (£8,012), which will be enforced by Montana’s Department of Justice.
This implies that technology giants such as Apple and Google could potentially be fined if they permit the download of TikTok within Montana through their respective app stores. Despite assertions from TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, denying any control by the Chinese government, the question of ownership and influence remains a matter of ongoing discussion.
Source : bbc.com