(The Center Square) – Montana became the first state in the country to ban TikTok after Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419 into law Wednesday.
“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” the governor said in a statement. “Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Several states have passed TikTok bans applicable to mostly state-owned devices, making Montana’s ban the broadest in the U.S.
Gianforte banned the app from state-owned devices in December. Senate Bill 419 expands that ban to all users and bars “the option to download the TikTok mobile application by a mobile application store.” The law comes with a $10,000 fine per violation for app store companies.
“TikTok may not operate within the territorial jurisdiction of Montana,” the bill says.
Attorney General Austin Knudsen, who helped craft the bill, in a statement called TikTok “a Chinese Communist Party spying tool that poses a threat to every Montanan.”
“I hope other states recognize the dangers of TikTok and follow suit,” he added.