Biden to issue executive order safeguarding American personal data from US adversaries

President Biden is scheduled to issue an executive order on Wednesday that will block large-scale transfers of Americans’ personal data to America’s adversaries Russia, China and Iran.

The executive order directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish protections for genomic data, biometric data, personal health data, geolocation data, financial data, and sensitive government data.

“Our intelligence community has made clear that ‘adversaries increasingly view data as a strategic resource,'” a senior Biden administration official said on a call with reporters Tuesday evening.

“These countries use their access to large amounts of sensitive personal and government-related data of Americans to engage in a variety of illicit activities, including malicious cyber operations, espionage, and extortion,” officials said. added the person.

The safeguards will prevent large-scale transfers of sensitive U.S. data to six countries of concern: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela.

The administration official said these countries use U.S. data to collect information on activists, academics, journalists, dissidents, politicians, and marginalized communities, to intimidate opponents, suppress dissent, and They accused it of restricting Americans’ freedom of expression.

According to a White House press release, companies have come to collect vast amounts of data about Americans, often selling or reselling that data, and in some cases, “foreign intelligence agencies, militaries, Or it could end up in the hands of companies controlled by foreign governments.”

To prevent this, the Justice Department is considering banning data brokerage and genomic data trading with countries of concern, while imposing certain restrictions on vendor, employment and investment contracts, a senior Justice Department official told reporters. told.

“It will be significantly more difficult for an adversary to obtain this data at scale and in a degree of comprehensiveness that is most acute for the risks we are trying to address,” a Justice Department official said.

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