This article was last updated on May 18, 2023
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Governor Greg Gianforte signs law to protect residents’ privacy from Chinese Communist Party
Montana has become the first US state to ban the popular social media app, TikTok. Governor Greg Gianforte has signed into law a bill prohibiting the use or download of the app within the state effective January 1, 2024. Gianforte, a Republican, has taken a strong stance on protecting residents’ privacy and preventing personal data from being seized by the Chinese Communist Party.
Fears over data privacy and Chinese propaganda
There have been increasing concerns in the US that China can use TikTok to collect data about American citizens and spread Chinese propaganda through the social medium. Government employees were already banned from using TikTok on their work phones, with this policy being implemented in about half of the US states, as well as several European countries.
Challenges posed to minors
TikTok has also come under scrutiny for the safety of minors, who are challenged by the app to participate in various ‘challenges’ such as cooking chicken in a medicine and stacking milk crates to climb them. Critics argue that such challenges pose physical risks and can influence children to engage in dangerous behavior.
Legal challenges and potential fines
The ban on TikTok in Montana is likely to be challenged in court. Under the new law, both the app store and TikTok itself could be fined $10,000 each day in the event that people are allowed to use or download the app. It is important to note that these fines would not be imposed on individual users.
TikTok denies mass data collection
TikTok has denied accusations that the app collects large amounts of private data from its users. The company behind the app has vowed to do everything possible to continue to serve its user base in the future.
All eyes will be on Montana to see how this legal case unfolds. Should the state succeed in banning TikTok, other US states may follow suit with their own bans. This would have significant implications for TikTok, as the US is one of its largest markets.
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