- Montana on Friday became the first state in the US to approve a bill banning the social media app TikTok.
- A growing number of countries are partially or totally banning the app over security concerns.
- The US is threatening TikTok’s Chinese parent company with a ban if it doesn’t sell to another company.
A growing number of countries are placing partial or total bans on TikTok amid data security concerns, citing fears that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could be forced into giving user data to the Chinese government, or be pressured into amplifying or suppressing certain topics based on China’s interests.
The US recently threatened the app with a potential nationwide ban if its Chinese owners don’t sell their ownership stake, but TikTok has said forcing a change in ownership would not address national security concerns. Montana lawmakers on Friday approved a bill that would ban the app from being downloaded in the state, and potentially fine companies like Google, Apple, and TikTok itself if it remains available on an app store.
“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: A change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access,” a TikTok spokesperson previously told Insider. “The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.”
Here’s a running list of countries with a partial or total ban on TikTok: