Montana First U.S. State to Ban TikTok

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There have been many discussions, investigations and accusations surrounding video-sharing platform TikTok in the U.S. Over the last few months, several internal committees have been set up to establish the veracity of claims that the mobile app, developed by the Chinese company ByteDance, is spying on American citizens. No longer willing to risk it, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill that makes it the first U.S. state to ban TikTok

Tip: want to share your TikTok videos on more platforms? Lear how to link your TikTok account to Instagram.

A Ticking Timebomb

TikTok, and by extension ByteDance, has been accused on numerous occasions of mishandling the personal information of its users. There is still much debate surrounding the legality of a TikTok ban. Still, many, including Gianforte, argue that it collects and shares sensitive data with the Communist Chinese government.

Some U.S. states have already banned the video-sharing platform from government devices. However, the newly-enacted SB 419 bill outright bans TikTok from even being made available to residents in Montana.

Image source: Unsplash

“TikTok may not operate within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana” is the central line in the bill, while also setting out what exactly “operate” means and any imposed penalties. The bill prohibits app store owners like Apple and Google from allowing Montanans to download TikTok. It also bans anyone in Montana from accessing or using the app in the state. Skirting the legislation can lead to a fine of $10,000 per instance and “an additional $10,000 each day thereafter that the violation continues.”

While it may be difficult to prove, an affirmative defense is built into the bill, where an app store owner can’t be held liable if a Montana resident downloads and uses TikTok outside the state. It also makes an exception for “law enforcement activities, national security interests and activities, and security research activities.” 

If you live in Montana, you have until January 1, 2024, to get as much TikTok browsing in as possible before it’s enacted.

Tip: want to clean up your TikTok watch history? Read on to learn more.
Image credit: Pexels

Charlie Fripp
Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp is a technology writer with a strong focus on consumer gadgets, video games, and cyber security. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional journalism and has worked as a journalist for over 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys playing various musical instruments and gardening.

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