Biden to Sign Executive Order Preventing Transfer of Americans’ Sensitive Data to China and Other Countries

U.S. President Joe Biden is poised to sign an executive order on Wednesday aimed at thwarting the large-scale transfer of Americans’ sensitive personal data to countries like China.

Primarily targeting data brokers, the order will instruct the Department of Justice to commence a rule-making process aimed at curbing the bulk transfer of data to “countries of concern,” including Russia and Iran. It will encompass genomic data, biometric data, personal health data, geolocation data, financial data, and certain types of personal identifiable information.

A senior administration official emphasized that the executive order is meticulously tailored to address aspects of personal sensitive data posing national security risks. The aim is to design rules collaboratively with industry and stakeholders, ensuring both implementability and effective mitigation of national security concerns related to bulk sensitive data transfer.

This order initiates a rule-making process expected to last months, if not years, with a focus on facilitating the trusted free flow of data. It specifically prohibits data broker and genomic data transactions while establishing categories of restricted data transactions, such as vendor agreements potentially exposing critical security components used by government agencies and major private organizations.

Furthermore, the order directs departments like Health and Human Services, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to scrutinize federal grants, contracts, and awards to prevent the transfer of sensitive health data to prohibited countries.

While the executive order does not impose new restrictions or standards on how U.S. companies handle personal sensitive information domestically, it concentrates on regulating the transfer of data abroad. Countries of concern include China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.

China’s extensive data collection efforts concerning Americans have been highlighted by multiple presidential administrations, raising concerns about foreign adversaries acquiring commercially acquired information. The potential uses of this data by China range from identifying intelligence agents to training artificial intelligence models.

- Advertisment -ad

Most Popular