The TikTok debate has arrived in New York. With a new bipartisan bill proposed in US Congress would ban the video-streaming app from the country altogether, NY state politicians are trying to mirror preemptive bans that Utah and Alabama have already taken.

The controversy over how our apps monitor and collect our behavior and personal information is nothing new, but the main concern in the case of TikTok is who is collecting the data. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance.

Not The First TikTok Ban

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Several nations bordering China have already banned the viral-content-distributor, including Taiwan and India. Last month, the FBI expressed concerns over information the app might be collecting from users, especially children.

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TikTok is one of the most popular entertainment venues in America for kids and Gen Z. The app has 138 million active users per month in the US; Comscore data shows 32.5% of those users are ages 10-19. The average TikTok user spends more than an hour and a half per day watching videos.

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Besides the influence ByteDance could have over content distributed to children, the FBI says that the app is collecting location data and personal information along with the user’s interests based on the videos they seek out. While a national ban on TikTok is unlikely, New York State wants to take an early stand.

How Will New York Ban TikTok?

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State Senator Kevin Thomas has introduced legislation that would band the app from any New York-owned electronic device, like the kinds given to state employees. If New York’s government issued you a phone, you could not have TikTok on it if this bill passes, citing state security concerns.

The Committee on Foreign Investment ordered ByteDance to sell TikTok in 2020, but a buyout fell through in February 2021. TikTok released a statement that the action being taken against them in the US is a "politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States.”

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