Montana, a State in USA is set to ban TikTok from mobile devices in the state following a bill that was signed into law by the State Governor.
The popular video contents app TikTok has been in international discourse for quite a time over alleged access to user’s data by China through ByteDance.
The allegations raised alarm as some European governments banned the app from mobile devices used by state officials. America called on ByteDance the company that hosts the app to sell it.
Montana is a state in the Mountain west division of United States of America with over 1 million population. Wednesday, May 17, the Governor, Greg Gianforte signed the ban on TikTok into law which shall take effect on 1 January.
The Governor, Gregory Gianforte, a Republican said the ban was “to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party,”. He further stated that the law was in “our shared priority to protect Montanans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance.”
The law will in effect make it illegal for app stores to offer users the TikTok app, however it doesn’t ban users who already have the app from using it.
TikTok however is set to challenge the law in court as it reassured its users in Montana to express themselves as they seek to defend their right.
“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” it stated.
A penalty of $10,000 contained in the law shall be liable to firms or companies that break the law. However, individual users do not fall within the parameters of such penalty which shall be enforced by Montana’s Department of Justice.
Therefore tech giants like Apple and Google are liable to the penalty contained in the law if they allow TikTok to be downloaded in Montana from their app stores.
Chief Executive Officer of TikTok Shou Zi Chew has denied allegations that China was having access to data of Americans though he admitted his employees used the accounts of the app to source information about Journalist.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance – a Chinese company.