US Brings New Bill To Ban TikTok: What It Means

The US Lawmakers have gone one step ahead and introduced a new bill that bans TikTok in the country. The bill was passed after US Senator Marco Rubio brought the bill to the table in front of the Congressman.

“US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the United States,” Rubio’s office said in a statement. “US Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced companion legislation in the US House of Representatives.”

TikTok has been in the headlines ever since US and China have been at loggerheads over different geo-political matters. TikTok has been accused of sharing user data with China, raising national security concerns for the US government.

The bill comes just a few days after US states like Alabama and Utah prohibited the use of Chinese-owned short-video sharing app TikTok on state government devices and computer networks due to national security concerns.

The actions follow warnings from FBI Director Chris Wray last month who said the Chinese government could use the ByteDance-owned app to control data collection on millions of U.S. users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations.

“Disturbingly, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data, much of which has no legitimate connection to the app’s supposed purpose of video sharing. Use of TikTok involving state IT infrastructure thus creates an unacceptable vulnerability to Chinese infiltration operations,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement. The US has become one of the biggest markets for TikTok, and to be fair, the platform has looked to thwart these concerns by localising its data systems and partnering with US-based companies to operate in the region.

In addition to this, Indiana’s attorney general last Wednesday sued the Chinese-owned social media app, claiming the video-sharing platform misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and security of consumer information.

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita claimed in a complaint filed Wednesday that while the social video app says it is safe for users 13 years and older, the app contains “salacious and inappropriate content” available to young users “for unlimited periods of time, day and night, in an effort to line TikTok’s pockets with billions of dollars from U.S. consumers.”

A separate complaint from Rokita argues the app has users’ sensitive and personal information but deceives consumers into believing that information is secure.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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