TikTok has filed a lawsuit against Montana’s new ban on the Chinese-owned app, claiming that it violates the First Amendment rights of its users.
The company says in its lawsuit that it “has not shared, and would not share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government, and has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users.”
The ban, which is slated to go into force on January 1, is also being challenged on the basis of pre-emption by federal law and violation of the United States Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, is used by over 150 million Americans and has been the subject of requests for a statewide ban due to worries about Chinese government involvement.
Montana could impose $10,000 fines for each TikTok violation, but how the ban will be enforced is unknown.
Emily Flower, a spokesperson for Knudsen, said the state was ready for lawsuits. “We expected legal challenges and are fully prepared to defend the law that helps protect Montanans’ privacy and security,” she said Monday.
According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner, the probable reversal of Montana’s prohibition emphasizes the necessity for Congress to approve legislation allowing the president authority to block foreign-owned applications like TikTok.