President Biden has signed an Executive Order that will revoke three EOs signed by former President Trump, which sought to ban the popular Chinese-owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat.
At the same time, Biden's new EO aims to set criteria for the U.S. government to evaluate the threats that apps connected to foreign adversaries have.
Trump had previously tried to ban the apps from the U.S. over security concerns due to the personal information the apps could collect on American consumers.
Executive Order on Protecting Americans' Sensitive Data from Foreign Adversaries
The Executive Order will tap the Commerce Department to describe what it considers to be "unacceptable risk" when it comes to apps tied to foreign adversaries. Additionally, the department will work with other federal agencies to provide recommendations to better protect consumer data, as well as recommending further legislative actions.
Here is a direct quote from Biden's Executive Order on the need for better regulations:
"The Federal Government should evaluate these threats through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and should address any unacceptable or undue risks consistent with overall national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives, including the preservation and demonstration of America's core values and fundamental freedoms.
By operating on United States information and communications technology devices, including personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including United States persons' personal information and proprietary business information.
This data collection threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information. Foreign adversary access to large repositories of United States persons' data also presents a significant risk."