After canceling the sale of TikTok to Oracle earlier this year, US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order rescinding previous administration restrictions on TikTok, WeChat, Alipay and seven other apps.
However, the apps in question are not out of hot water just yet as Biden has directed the Commerce Department to evaluate any apps or software that may have links to foreign adversaries and take action where appropriate.
President Biden’s new executive order replaces three separate executive orders signed by former President Trump last year that barred apps including TikTok, WeChat and Alipay from being listed on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Previous executive orders also allowed for further measures to prevent these apps from operating within the US.
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In a fact sheet on the White House website, the Biden administration provided further details about the threat to US citizens of some apps in China and other countries, saying:
“The Biden Administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet; protect human rights online and offline; and supporting a vibrant, global digital economy. Some countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), do not share these values and try to take advantage of digital technologies and data from Americans that present unacceptable national security risks while furthering authoritarian control and interests.
Securing US Consumer Data
President Biden’s latest executive order seeks to make recommendations designed to protect the Commerce Department and other federal agencies from the collection, sale, transfer and access of sensitive data, including personally identifiable information and general information of US citizens. We are invited to work together.
While the Biden administration has so far repealed several executive orders from the Trump administration, a recent order signed by President Biden expanded Trump’s ban on US investments in Chinese companies that are believed to have been taken from the Chinese military. relation. In all, 59 companies have been barred from investment, including companies that manufacture and sell surveillance technology.
Although this is a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting Americans online, it remains to be seen whether President Biden will push for a federal data protection regulation for the US, similar to the EU GDPR.
We will hear more from the US government on this issue once the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies begin their investigation into TikTok, WeChat, Alipay and other apps previously banned from the US App Store.
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