Montana will be the first state in the United States to prohibit the use of TikTok on personal devices.
Montana is going to become the first US state to prohibit the use of the Chinese-owned media company TikTok on personal devices.
On Wednesday, Governor Greg Gianforte signed the prohibition into law. It is set to go into effect on January 1st.
According to the video-sharing network, the prohibition “violates the people of Montana’s First Amendment rights.”
TikTok has drawn the attention of authorities around the world due to concerns that data could be transferred to the Chinese government.
Mr. Gianforte, a Republican, told lawmakers that extending the ban would be a “shared priority to protect Montanans from Chinese Communist Party surveillance.”
TikTok said in a statement that “hundreds of thousands of people” utilized it in Montana.
“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue to use TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community while we work to defend our users’ rights both inside and outside of Montana,” it added.
TikTok is anticipated to file a legal challenge to the legislation.
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Montana lawmakers voted 54 to 43 last month to prohibit TikTok from being used on personal devices.
The rule makes it illegal for app stores to sell TikTok, but it does not prohibit existing TikTok users from utilizing it.
Montana, which has a population of just over one million people, banned the software from government devices in December.
TikTok claims to have 150 million American users. Despite the fact that the app’s user base has grown in recent years, it is still most popular among teenagers and users in their twenties.However, there are fears across the political spectrum in the United States that TikTok could pose a national security risk.
ByteDance, a Chinese firm, owns TikTok.A congressional committee questioned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in March about whether the Chinese government might access user data or affect what Americans see on the app.
Mr Shou frequently stated that it would never spy on Americans, although admitting that employees had exploited journalists’ TikTok accounts to gather information on them.
Earlier this month, the US government stated that ByteDance either sell TikTok or face a ban in the country.
Individual users are not subject to the penalty. Companies that violate the rule face fines of up to $10,000 (£8,012), which would be enforced by Montana’s Department of Justice.
It means that tech titans like Apple and Google could face fines if they allow TikTok to be downloaded from their app shops in Montana.
ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, has frequently denied that it is controlled by the Chinese government.