(KTXL) — Two bills have been introduced in the California legislature that would prohibit installing social media applications from “countries of concern” onto state-owned or state-issued devices.
Assembly Bill 227 by Assemblymember Kate Sanchez and Senate Bill 74 by Senator Bill Dodd, both introduced on Jan. 11, joining a national trend of governments reacting to security concerns over the China-based social media app TikTok.
Both bills prohibit the installation of apps that are owned by or could be influenced by the governments of certain countries.
Senator Dodd’s bill leaves it to the governor to compose the list of “countries of concern” while Asm. Sanchez’s bill lists out specific countries: the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba and the Russian Federation.
Asm. Sanchez’s bill also directly bans Tik Tok or any other app from its parent company, ByteDance.
“Social media apps are ubiquitous in our daily lives, but there is growing concern about information theft and data collection that comes with their use,” Sen. Dodd said in a press release.
In November, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Homeland Security Committee that the FBI was concerned about the app’s ability to collect data, conduct influence operations, and compromise devices.
The next month, the U.S. Senate passed the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” by unanimous consent.
United States-based social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, neither strangers to privacy concerns, have been restricted in China, not just on state devices, since 2009, though not necessarily over security concerns.