A group of 18 state attorneys general said Monday they support Montana’s effort to ban the Chinese-owned short video app and asked a U.S. judge to block it before its Jan. 1 effective date, Reuters reported. solve its legal challenges.
State attorneys general led by Virginia and states including Georgia, Alaska, Utah, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky and South Dakota said TikTok intentionally engaged in deceptive business practices that trick people into sharing sensitive personal information. Let China have access to them and this platform could even harm children in Montana.
Tik Tok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, has not yet commented on this matter. The company filed a lawsuit in May to block the first state ban, arguing that it violates the First Amendment, which protects the company’s and users’ free speech rights. A hearing on TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction is set for October 12.
With more than 150 million US users, TikTok has faced growing calls from US lawmakers for a nationwide ban amid concerns about possible Chinese government influence. In March, lawmakers accused TikTok of providing harmful content and causing emotional distress to young users.
TikTok says it does not and will not share US user data with the Chinese government and has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users.
Montana can impose fines of up to $10,000 for each Tik Tok violation. This law does not apply punishment to individual TikTok users. On the other hand, TikTok estimates that 380,000 people, or more than a third of Montana’s 1.1 million people, use this video service.
Former US President Donald Trump sought to ban new TikTok downloads in 2020, but a series of court decisions prevented the ban from being implemented. While some countries have taken a more lenient approach to TikTok, the EU Commission, Parliament and Council have all banned the use of TikTok on the official devices of MPs and their staff. Several countries within the bloc, including Belgium and Denmark, have banned its use. Norway, which is not in the EU but is a member of the European Economic Area, banned government officials and members of parliament from having TikTok on their devices.
The European regulator announced last Friday that Tik Tok has been fined 345 million euros for violating privacy laws regarding the processing of children’s personal information in the European Union.