Biden Issues Executive Order To Protect Personal Data

President Biden issued an executive order asking the Department of Justice to prevent Americans' personal data from being transferred to "countries of concern."

Companies and government agencies in the United States have begun to increase use of biometric data for everything from buying groceries at Amazon's Whole Foods grocery store to walking through TSA lines at select airports.

"The President’s Executive Order focuses on Americans’ most personal and sensitive information, including genomic data, biometric retail data, personal health data, geolocation data, financial data, and certain kinds of personally identifiable information," the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

United updated its website recently to show that "Touchless ID" technology, which allows travelers to walk through security by scanning their face when they have TSA PreCheck is now available at Chicago's O'Hare and Los Angeles international airports.

All that electronic data, when saved to a variety of servers and cloud services, is now up for grabs to hackers.

China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela have been identified as the "countries of concern.”

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Meta, as well as Kroger, Target, Walmart and many other data companies collecting consumer information have struggled for years with ways to keep consumer data safe.

"Companies are collecting more of Americans’ data than ever before, and it is often legally sold and resold through data brokers," the White House stated. "Commercial data brokers and other companies can sell this data to countries of concern, or entities controlled by those countries, and it can land in the hands of foreign intelligence services, militaries, or companies controlled by foreign governments."

No mention in the statement about TikTok and how the social network allegedly shares consumer user data and preferences with its Chinese parent, ByteDance, despite the current U.S. administration’ concerns. In the past, government agencies have warned TikTok could share user data such as browsing history, location, and biometric identifiers with China's government.

The White House says the actions align with the U.S.’ longstanding support for the “trusted free flow of data, but also are consistent with U.S.’ commitment to an open Internet with strong and effective protections for individuals’ privacy and measures.”

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