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Biden Signs Executive Order to Protect Americans’ Data

June 9, 2021 by Victoria Turner
The White House, May 2021). (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – In another step to further cement a democratic “digital economy” as opposed to “authoritarian controls and interests” like those of China, President Bident signed an executive order today to tackle the national security risks in the U.S.’ information and communication technology and services supply chain posed by foreign adversaries. 

The order replaces three 2019 Trump administration orders banning transactions with TikTok and WeChat, along with another eight applications that the former president signed after a national emergency was declared in May of that year by Exec. Order 13783. The current order supplants the three orders  – 13942, 13943, and 13971 – with the current one that “directs a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to address” these ICTS transaction risks when any part of it is either “owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary.” 

Aside from revoking the three prior executive orders, the current order directs the Commerce Department to take “appropriate” action once the software applications are reviewed under the rules established to implement their predecessor, Exec. Order 13783. 

Following suit from these rules, it provides more detail on the criteria to identify risky software applications – i.e., a “heightened risk” factor would be if the application involved in the transaction is owned or controlled by a foreign adversary or group supportive of “malicious cyber activities,” the White House release explained. The Commerce Department will also have to develop and recommend more ways to protect “the sale, transfer of, or access to [American’s] sensitive personal data” through the transaction, and the agency will continue making these recommendations for future executive or legislative actions. 

To read the full text, click here.

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