President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, United States on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to review the data collection practices of foreign-owned apps like TikTok and WeChat, the White House said.
Biden revoked and replaced former President Donald Trump’s three executive orders that were supposed to ban American companies from transactions with TikTok and WeChat. One of the orders also called for a ban on TikTok, which resulted in a lengthy legal process. TikTok remains available and popular in the US
Biden’s new order will direct the Department of Commerce to review apps linked to foreign adversaries and outline what should be considered an “unacceptable risk” according to a White House datasheet. This includes criteria for evaluating transactions with software apps that are tied to a foreign opponent and usually fall under the Committee for Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). The order would consider transactions to be “increased risk” if they involve apps owned by individuals who are controlled or managed by individuals who assist foreign military or intelligence agencies, or if the apps collect sensitive personal information, for example.
The order also directs the Department of Commerce to work with other agencies to develop recommendations to protect US consumer data from foreign adversaries.
Representatives from TikTok and WeChat owner Tencent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story evolves. Check back for updates.
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