Big news happened this week when the state of Montana became the first in the nation to ban TikTok. The Chinese social media app was named a potential threat by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte. Gianforte believes the app gives the Chinese government freedom to spy on Americans and collect their personal data.
Senate Bill 419, signed on Wednesday by Gianforte, goes into effect next year, on January 1. It will impose a fine on TikTok itself, as well as app stores, for allowing the TikTok app to be downloaded within state limits. That means marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store could be fined up to $10,000 per day for violating the new restriction.
Some civil rights groups are fighting the ban, calling it unconstitutional. And it is possible it won’t stick. But President Biden did sign a legislation last December that banned the app on government devices. And even more interestingly, has been considering an all-out ban.
It all depends on whether TikTok‘s parent company, ByteDance can find an American buyer for the app. Thereby depriving the Chinese government the ability to collect American users information. Of course, there are many people who assert that the Chinese government doesn’t have access to all the data some people fear. It’s a subject of a lot of debate on capitol hill.
So now people in Nevada are wondering, are we next? Governor Joe Lombardo also banned TikTok from Nevada government devices last December, just like Gianforte did. He made a statement indicating Nevada would have no tolerance for any company that poses a security risk (Fox5Vegas).
Which brings us back to the question, is there a security risk? Well, it was worldwide news earlier this year that TikTok was fined for a violation of this nature by the UK. They were charged about $15.9 million for their mishandling of personal information of minors who used the app. So TikTok doesn’t exactly have the trust of some users in what they do with data they collect through the app.
So what do you think? Does this make you more weary of using TikTok? Food for thought.
– Wendy Rush, 96.3 KKLZ