June 13, 2021

Biden rescinds Trump’s Executive Orders targeting TikTok, other tech firms with China ties

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The administration ordered the Department of Commerce to closely monitor them

The Biden administration will keep its eye on tech companies with ties to ChinaBet_Noire/iStock

By David Cohen From adweek

President Joe Biden overturned executive orders from former President Donald Trump that aimed to prevent TikTok, WeChat and other communications and financial technology companies that are controlled by companies based in China from operating in the U.S., but those companies are not out of the woods yet.

new executive order signed by Biden this week directs the Department of Commerce to evaluate software applications that are connected to countries that the U.S. considers to be foreign adversaries, which includes China.

The Commerce Department is tasked with identifying and evaluating ICTS (information and communications technology and services) transactions involving foreign adversary- connected software applications that may pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security and the American people, with the executive order reading, “For example, ICTS transactions involving software applications may present a heightened risk when the transactions involve applications that are owned, controlled or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data.”

The executive order also charges the Commerce Department and other departments and agencies with making recommendations to protect U.S. citizens against the sale, transfer of or access to sensitive personal data—including personally identifiable information and genetic information—including large data repositories, to organizations owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, foreign adversaries.

Finally, the Department of Commerce must make recommendations for additional executive and legislative actions to further address the risk associated with foreign adversary-connected software applications.

TikTok has maintained that its parent company, ByteDance, is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, not China, and that no data from U.S. users is stored on servers in China.

The White House said in a statement, “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. Certain countries, including the People’s Republic of China, do not share these values and seek to leverage digital technologies and Americans’ data in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while advancing authoritarian controls and interests.”

For more on this story go to: ADWEEK

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