This week, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) are introducing a bipartisan bill to outline a possible approach to banning or prohibiting foreign technology, such as the popular video-sharing app TikTok. The bill comes in response to concerns over data privacy issues, stemming from the app's parent company ByteDance, which is based in China and privately held. Senator Warner expressed a concern that the app could be used as a propaganda tool, while Senator Thune noted the need to protect American users who have already shared personal information on the app.
The bill is still in its early stages, and would need to be passed by the House (which is Republican-controlled) and the Senate (which is Democratic-majority). President Joe Biden would then need to decide whether to veto or sign the bill.
TikTok has been facing challenges from US officials for some time, with former President Donald Trump declaring his intention to ban the app by executive action in 2020. Since then, Congress has banned the app from government devices, and several governors have removed the app from state computer networks. Senator Josh Hawley has also renewed calls for a complete nationwide ban in January.
It remains to be seen how this bill will affect the future of TikTok. For now, the public will have to wait to see how the legislative process plays out.