(CTN News) – TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps on the planet, but Montana has become the first state to ban it.
On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana, signed Senate Bill 419, a security bill aimed at protecting the privacy of the state’s residents. Among the potential threats he pointed to was the Chinese government.
There is extensive evidence that the Chinese Communist Party has used TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect personal, private, and sensitive information about them, said Governor Gianforte.
As far as is known, there is no direct evidence of the Chinese government gaining direct access to the user data of TikTok.
As a result, TikTok’s critics point out that China’s government has access to the records of a company’s customers through laws enacted by the government of that country.
The Montana legislation stipulates that platforms that offer the app on their marketplaces, such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, will be subject to fines up to $10,000 per day for any violations that may occur for supplying the app on their marketplaces.
As of January 1, 2024, the ban will be in effect. The bill is expected to be challenged by TikTok in a federal court on the grounds that it is invalid under the Constitution.
There have been several groups that have said the ban is unconstitutional, including the American Civil Liberties Union and others.
The governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte, banned TikTok on state government electronic devices in December last year.
A statement by the president on Wednesday suggested that the ban would be expanded to include all social media applications that collect and provide users’ personal information or data to a foreign adversary, or a person or entity located within a country designated as a foreign adversary.
Last December, President Biden signed legislation banning the app from government devices, and has been considering a full ban if the parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, is unable to sell the app to an American company.
The U.S. and its “Five Eyes” security partners – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – have banned the use of TikTok on federal government devices because of national security concerns.