Video sharing app TikTok has filed a suit to challenge the law signed by Governor Gregory to ban TikTok in Montana state effective 1 January.
The Chinese tech company ByteDance which owns TikTok filed a lawsuit yesterday at the Federal Court in Missoula, USA.
This follows five similar lawsuits by five content creators in the same court challenging that the Montana State has no authority to take action on matters of national security.
“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”a spokesperson for the company said after the suit was filed.
Governor Gregory Gianforte signed a bill that banned the use of TikTok in Montana state, USA and Apps that offer it’s inhabitants the opportunity of downloading the app are also liable to a fine.
TikTok maintains its position that it has not shared and would not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government and it has taken measures to protect the privacy and security of its users, by storing all U.S. user data in the United States, according to the lawsuit.
However, some lawmakers, the FBI and officials at other agencies have shown key concerns that the video-sharing app could be liable to allow the Chinese government access information on U.S. citizens or push pro-Beijing misinformation that could influence the public.
Chinese companies are compelled by the Communist states’ law to share data with the government for whatever purposes it deems to involve national security.
“The Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok as a tool to spy on Americans by collecting personal information, keystrokes, and even the locations of its users — and by extension, people without TikTok who affiliate with users may have information about themselves shared without even knowing it,” Emily Flower, a spokesperson for the Montana Department of Justice, said in a statement.
“We expected legal challenges and are fully prepared to defend the law that helps protect Montanans’ privacy and security,” she wrote
The federal government and about half the U.S. states, including Montana, have banned TikTok from government-owned devices.
Montana’s new law prohibits downloads of TikTok in the state. It would fine any “entity” — an app store or TikTok — $10,000 per day for each time someone “is offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app. The penalties would not apply to users.