The order issued Wednesday is intended to protect Americans’ personal data, according to a White House press release, and orders the Commerce Department to establish criteria for assessing potential national security risks associated with applications “owned, controlled, or operated by persons supporting foreigners” that conduct “military or intelligence activities.” hostile, engage in malicious online activities, or include applications that collect sensitive personal data.
The order also directs the US Department of Commerce to draft a report with recommendations on how to protect Americans’ personal data, including their genetic data, as well as a second report containing additional policy proposals.
A memo describing the order distributed by the Commerce Department, obtained by CNN specifically says that apps made by those subject to Chinese law are covered by the order.
“The Biden administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet, protecting human rights online and offline, and supporting a vibrant global digital economy,” the memo reads.
The memo added that “some countries, including the People’s Republic of China, that do not share these democratic values, seek to take advantage of digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that pose unacceptable national security risks while promoting authoritarian controls and interests. Through this, states are taking The United States is taking strong steps to protect Americans’ sensitive data from being collected and used by foreign adversaries through connected software applications.”
ByteDance, the parent company of the short-range video app TikTok, is headquartered in China. Last year, the Trump administration sought to force ByteDance to convert TikTok into a new company owned primarily by American investors. Tik Tok declined to comment.