TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app, has been facing increasing scrutiny in the United States over concerns regarding data privacy and national security. Two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, plan to introduce a bill that would allow the government to ban or prohibit foreign technology products such as TikTok.
Senator Warner, who is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, highlighted TikTok as a potential target for the bill, which is aimed at protecting American data from being compromised by foreign governments. The move comes as the app faces growing pressure over its data privacy practices and potential ties to the Chinese government.
The bill follows a similar effort by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, which recently voted to give President Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok, marking the most far-reaching restriction on any social media app in the country. Additionally, the White House has ordered government agencies to ensure that TikTok is not installed on any federal devices or systems.
This proposed ban is not limited to the U.S. Several countries, including Canada and several European Union policy institutions, have already banned TikTok from being loaded onto state-owned devices due to data privacy concerns.
While TikTok has repeatedly denied any ties to the Chinese government, the app’s data privacy practices have been questioned by lawmakers and privacy advocates. In response, TikTok has taken steps to improve its transparency and data privacy policies, including opening a transparency center in the United States.
However, the proposed bill to ban foreign technology products raises questions about the impact such a move could have on free speech and the global technology industry. It remains to be seen how this legislation will progress and what the ultimate outcome will be for TikTok and other foreign technology products operating in the U.S. market.