Proposed House Bill Would Require Phone App Makers To Warn Users Of Potential For Data Being Compromised

(PatriotHeadline.Com)- Popular smartphone apps such as TikTok would warn users of potential threats to their data security before they downloaded them, if a recent bill proposal passes both chambers of Congress.
The bill, introduced by Indiana Republican Representative Jim Banks, would place a form of warning labels on smartphone applications that are made and/or hosted in countries that the United States deem a national security threat.
The bill would require operators of app stores to inform American users before they download an app that it could collect their data and send it to an enemy state. As Banks, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, explained:
“This bill will help inform us as to what exactly we’re agreeing to when we hit the download button on some apps on the app store. If an app is being used by a foreign government to take advantage of us, we need to be informed.”
The bill includes apps made and/or hosted by “China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Sudan, Iran and North Korea, and any other country that is designated as a source of dangerous software by an expert or has provided support for international terrorism.”
This proposed bill would include some very popular apps, including the TikTok video app that is hosted on servers in China. In January, the U.S. Army blocked soldiers from using the app due to the possibility of it being a national security threat.
Banks and others in Congress are concerned about bad actor countries and governments using the data they collect through smartphone apps to do bad things, track movements of people and steal valuable information.
In a statement announcing the introduction of his bill, Banks said:
“Some phone apps are fun and useful. Others are counterintelligence threats. Americans should know which is which before they hit the download button. Parents and consumers have a right to a warning that by downloading some apps like Russia’s FaceApp or China’s TikTok, their data may be used against the United States by an adversarial or enemy regime.”
The bill would require apps to present Americans with a warning message before they downloaded an app that was produced in one of the restricted countries. The user would have to acknowledge that it’s possible for the app to compromise his or her data before they would be allowed to proceed with the download.
The warning message would have to be separate from all other agreements that the user would have to agree to before downloading the application. The bill would also put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of enforcing the requirements.
If an app developer and/or software marketplace operator violated the rules of the bill, they could be fined up to $50,000. People who violate the law “egregiously” could also face criminal punishments such time in prison.
The bill would provide Congress with the power to add countries to the restricted list at any time, based on any number of factors.