Sandeep Prasanna Quoted on Future of Montana's TikTok Ban in Bloomberg Law
"Montana's First-in-the-U.S. TikTok Ban Sows Doubt on Enforcement"
Sandeep Prasanna discussed the legal and enforcement challenges that Montana will likely face after passing a ban on social media app TikTok. Montana's new law, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, is the latest development in a broad national movement to restrict the app in the U.S. over concerns about the Chinese government's access to American user data. The law bars app stores from making TikTok available to download for Montana residents and makes individual access of the app a violation of the law. It's theoretically possible for app stores to limit access to certain apps by geography using a customer's billing address, Prasanna observed, "[b]ut if you really want to access those apps, there are ways to get around state by state bans. There are VPNs, and if the app is already on your device, it’s not clear exactly whether there's a mechanism to remove an app from a device where it’s already downloaded." Previous bans affecting TikTok access have been limited to government-issued devices at the federal and state level. Those are easier to enforce because the government has direct control over what is stored there, Prasanna said. He also weighed in on the legal challenges that Montana will face, including a lawsuit that has already been filed by TikTok creators. "Whether it's through this lawsuit or through any number of lawsuits that are likely to be filed in the next couple of months, I think this law is destined for a likely death in court before it's scheduled to take effect on January 1."