Biden may be Letting your Data get Sold to China

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President Biden has signed an Executive Order aimed at safeguarding Americans’ sensitive personal data from being exploited by foreign entities considered to be of concern to national security. This executive action is noted as the most substantial in history regarding the protection of Americans’ data security. Under this order, the Attorney General is empowered to restrict the extensive transfer of personal data to these countries of concern.

The order particularly focuses on the protection of highly sensitive information such as genomic, biometric, personal health, geolocation, financial data, and certain types of personally identifiable information. There are concerns that this data could be used for surveillance, scams, and blackmail, potentially compromising privacy and national security. The data in question is at risk of being sold through data brokers to foreign intelligence, military, or government-controlled entities.

The administration is aiming to prevent the misuse of data by foreign powers, which could target various groups, including military personnel, activists, journalists, and political figures. To achieve this, President Biden has directed the Department of Justice to develop regulations that will shield Americans’ sensitive data from access by countries of concern. The regulations will also provide enhanced protection for sensitive government-related data.

Furthermore, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are tasked with setting high security standards to block access to Americans’ data through commercial avenues, including investments and business relationships. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, and Veterans Affairs will ensure that federal funds are not used to facilitate access to Americans’ health data by these countries of concern.

The Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector, also known as “Team Telecom,” is instructed to include the risk to Americans’ personal data in their review of submarine cable licenses. The actions taken are intended to support the free flow of information necessary for financial and other activities without leading to a broader disconnection from international consumer, economic, scientific, and trade relationships.

The Administration plans to continue engaging with various stakeholders, including technology companies and privacy advocates, to balance the objectives of privacy, safety, competition, labor, and human rights. President Biden has also prompted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect Americans from data brokers that illegally collect and sell extremely sensitive data. Additionally, he is calling on Congress to enact comprehensive bipartisan privacy legislation.

For more information, check out the White House’s press release here.

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