Yesterday, with broad bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (352-65) to support the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, designed to begin the process of banning TikTok’s use in the United States. This is music to my ears. See a previous blog post on this subject.

The Act would penalize app stores and web hosting services that host TikTok while it is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance. However, if the app is divested from ByteDance, the Act will allow use of TikTok in the U.S.

National security experts have warned legislators and the public about downloading and using TikTok as a national security threat. This threat manifests because the owner of ByteDance is required by Chinese law to share users’ data with the Chinese Communist government. When downloading the app, TikTok obtains access to users’ microphones, cameras, and location services, which is essentially spyware on over 170 million Americans’ every move, (dance or not).

Lawmakers are concerned about the detailed sharing of Americans’ data with one of its top adversaries and the ability of TikTok’s algorithms to influence and launch disinformation campaigns against the American people. The Act will make its way through the Senate, and if passed, President Biden has indicated that he will sign it. This is a big win for privacy and national security.

Photo of Linn Foster Freedman Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on…

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations. She counsels a range of public and private clients from industries such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine and charitable organizations, on state and federal data privacy and security investigations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. Linn is an Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.  Prior to joining the firm, Linn served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.