The White House Receives Initial Recommendations From A US Agency On App Data Security

The order required Commerce to submit suggestions on how to protect US data gathered or accessible by foreign adversary-controlled enterprises.

The White House Receives Initial Recommendations From A US Agency On App Data Security
The White House Receives Initial Recommendations From A US Agency On App Data Security

The US Commerce Department announced on Tuesday that it had submitted an early set of data security recommendations in response to President Joe Biden's executive order. 

In June, Biden rescinded a series of Trump-era executive orders that tried to prohibit new WeChat and TikTok downloads and ordered a Commerce Department assessment of the applications' security issues.The order directed Commerce to make recommendations by last Thursday to protect U.S. data acquired or accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries."The department submitted an initial set of recommendations to the administration's key national security advisers," a Commerce spokesperson said.

Former President Donald Trump's administration attempted to prevent new users from downloading the apps and to prohibit other technical transactions, which Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok and Chinese-owned social media platform WeChat both claimed would effectively block the apps' use in the United States. Courts in the United States stopped the orders, which never went into effect. 

WeChat and TikTok, according to the Trump administration, represent a national security risk because sensitive personal data of US users could be gathered by China's government. Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked the Commerce Department for an update "on recommendations the U.S. Department of Commerce is obligated to produce on how to protect Americans' data in the wake of President Biden's decision to rescind the ban on these harmful apps and their continued operation in the United States."

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters last month that the administration is "extremely serious about protecting Americans' data" and is working with friends on the issue. Raimondo added, "That's a lot of work." "Doing some worthless executive order on TikTok is not the way to accomplish it." 

In the United States, TikTok has over 100 million users. Rubio inquired about the actions Commerce is doing to "guarantee that such personal information does not end up in the hands of Beijing." A second assessment of TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which began in late 2019, is still ongoing, according to a White House official who declined to provide any specifics in June.

Biden's executive order revoked the WeChat and TikTok orders Trump issued in August 2020, along with another in January that targeted eight other communications and financial technology software applications.