After months of enacting TikTok bans on college campuses and state governments, the state of Montana on Wednesday became the first state in the country to do so ban the app complete.
Republican Governor of Montana Greg Gianforte signed the measure into law, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024. That leaves the Montana state government just seven months to figure out an important point: how to enforce it.
To protect Montanans’ personal and private information from the Chinese Communist Party, I banned TikTok in Montana.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) May 17, 2023
A bipartisan Group of American Legislators has raised concerns about how TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, uses and stores its user data — and how much of it the Chinese government has access to. TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified before Congress in March that US data is being protected. The company employs around 7,000 people in the USA
But it looks like it did a little to allay lawmakers’ fears.
“Today, Montana is taking the most decisive measures of any state to protect Montaners’ private data and sensitive personal information from exploitation by the Chinese Communist Party,” Gianforte said in a statement.
After the announcement, the American Civil Liberties of Montana called the law unconstitutional, according to the AP.
TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter argued that the law violates people’s First Amendment rights.
RELATED: TikTok CEO Testifies at House Hearing: We’re Putting Up a ‘Firewall’ Around US Data
“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue to use TikTok to express themselves, make a living, and find community while we continue to work to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” Oberwetter said in one Explanation.
How does the TikTok ban work in Montana?
Downloading the TikTok app will be banned in the state and the government will fine an “entity” (the app store or TikTok itself) $10,000 per day if someone accesses the app or is “offered the opportunity.” to access or download it. Although the law states that the penalties don’t apply to users, it means that Apple and Google would be liable for any violations in their app stores.
If TikTok is sold to a company that is not “designated as a foreign adversary” by the US federal government, the law would be void.
RELATED: Auburn University in Alabama has banned TikTok on school WiFi and university devices
How can a TikTok ban be enforced?
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen noted that the technology used to restrict online sports gambling apps in the state can be used as a way to enforce the TikTok ban, but cybersecurity experts say, “It’s going to be extremely difficult — when.” not impossible – to adequately enforce the prohibition.” Law,” according to the AP.
The new law will face legal challenges in the coming months, but some experts are calling this a “preview for the rest of the country.” New York Times.