Lawmakers of the United States Senate have introduced a bill to ban the use of the popular social media platform, Tiktok, in the country.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that the app was not just about creating videos, but it served as a major tool in the hands of the Chinese Government to obtain sensitive data from Americans.
“This is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” he wrote in a statement shared on Tuesday.
He added, “We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”
The proposed legislation, in general, is aimed at protecting “Americans from the threat posed by certain foreign adversaries using current or potential future social media companies that those foreign adversaries control to surveil Americans, learn sensitive data about Americans, or spread influence campaigns, propaganda, and censorship.”
However, the bill mentions TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance, as well as other subsidiaries of the company, as social media platforms of particular concern.
The new bill follows a flurry of actions already taken by Republican-led states. States like Texas, South Dakota, and Maryland, have all moved to restrict the use of Tiktok on government-owned devices.
Similarly, the US military, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have all restricted the app from operating on their computer devices.
Shortly before the end of his tenure, former president Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban the app unless it was sold to an American company. The order was challenged in court and was later overturned by the incumbent Biden administration.