Montana Passes Bill Blocking Users From Downloading TikTok

Uwa Ede-Osifo, NBC News:

Montana lawmakers passed a bill Friday blocking downloads of TikTok, the most significant action yet by a state yet against the app.

The bill, SB 419, makes it illegal for app stores to give users the option to download the app and also illegal for the company to operate within the state.

The bill does not, however, make it illegal for people who already have TikTok to use the app. A previous version of the bill sought to force internet providers to block TikTok, but that language was later removed.

The bill is called, [sic] “Ban tik-tok in Montana”, and you have to give them credit for being on the nose. This has none of the weaselly “RESTRICT Act” phrasing; it is a straightforward ban of TikTok. Why mince words?

Montana’s governor still needs to sign the bill for it to become law, and he is expected to do so. It sure would be embarrassing for Montana’s lawmakers if those affected found some kind of loophole. As I have written before, I have no objection to policies which would enhance users’ privacy — but this law does not do that. It bans the TikTok app from the seventh least populous state in the U.S. without any restrictions on personal data collection.