Montana has become the first state to ban the popular social media app TikTok.
Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419 on Wednesday, saying he wants to protect the state’s residents’ private information from being compromised. He pointed to the Chinese government as a potential threat.
“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gov. Gianforte said.
There is no direct evidence that the Chinese government has ever accessed TikTok user data. However, TikTok’s critics point to laws in China that allow the government access to a company’s customer records.
According to the measure in Montana, platforms that offer the app on their marketplaces, such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, will be subjected to fines up to $10,000 a day for violations.
The ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2024. It is expected that TikTok will challenge the bill in federal court. It and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have said the ban is unconstitutional.