Montana has become the first state in the nation to pass a bill banning all downloads of the popular social media app, TikTok. On Friday, lawmakers in Montana voted to approve a ban on the app that will go into effect on January 1st, 2024. The bill was proposed by Republican Governor Greg Gianforte and passed with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.
The decision to ban TikTok comes after months of debate over the safety and security of user data on the app. Many lawmakers have expressed concern about potential risks posed by Chinese-owned companies such as ByteDance Ltd., which owns TikTok. They argue that data collected from users could be used for malicious purposes or shared with foreign governments without their consent.
"We must protect our citizens from these threats," said Governor Gianforte in a statement following the passage of the bill. "It is my hope that this legislation will serve as an example for other states looking to take similar action."
The decision has sparked debate among experts and members of the public alike. Some argue that it sets a dangerous precedent for other states to follow suit, while others believe it is necessary in order to protect user data from potential misuse.
"This is an important step forward in protecting our citizens' privacy," said Senator John Tester (D-MT). "We must ensure that our personal information remains secure when using online services like TikTok."
The implications of this law remain unclear at this time. It is possible that other states may follow Montana's lead and pass similar legislation banning downloads of TikTok or other social media apps. However, it is also possible that this law could be challenged in court due to its potentially unconstitutional nature.