by Kevin Bessler
About 30 states have placed restrictions on the social media app TikTok mostly related to government devices, but there is momentum for a larger ban on personal devices.
A growing number of lawmakers in the U.S. have raised national security concerns about the short-form video app because of TikTok’s ties to China through its parent company ByteDance.
An Illinois Democrat has co-sponsored legislation that would ban the popular social media app TikTok across the US.
State Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., co-sponsored the “Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act” or “ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act.”
The measure would ban any transactions with TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance in the U.S., effectively banning the app nationwide.
“At a time when the Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad are seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance, it is imperative that we do not allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against us,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.
TikTok officials said there are about 150 million monthly active users of the app in the U.S.
Jake Morabito, communications and technology task force director with the American Legislative Exchange Council, said any legislation creating a ban must be crafted carefully.
“Although legislators have good intentions as far as safeguarding American’s personal data, protecting us from China, at the end of the day they’re not legislating intention they’re making law and if the law they’re making is overly vague, I don’t think that would achieve their desired end state,” said Morabito to The Center Square.
TikTok settled a class action lawsuit for $92 million dollars in 2022 for violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act for unlawfully collecting information from users without telling them.
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Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.
Photo “Raja Krishnamoorthi” by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Background Photo “TikTok” by Árpád Czapp.