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President Biden Issues Executive Order on Protecting Sensitive Data from Foreign Adversaries

Publications / Jun 30, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia and Dotan Hammer

U.S. President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order aimed at addressing threats arising from the use of connected software applications designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by foreign adversaries. Connected software applications are software programs that include the ability to collect, process, or transmit data through the Internet.

According to the Executive Order’s explanatory notes, connected software applications can provide foreign adversaries with access to vast amounts of data from users, including personal information and proprietary business information of United States individuals and businesses, thus imposing a risk to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Therefore, the Federal Government should evaluate these risks through rigorous, evidence-based analysis and identify and address any risks that are inconsistent with America’s core values and fundamental freedoms.

In evaluating the risks arising from the use of connected software applications, several factors should be considered, including ownership, control, or management by persons that support foreign adversaries, or by persons involved in malicious cyber activities; use of connected software applications to conduct surveillance that enables foreign adversaries to access sensitive or confidential governmental or business information, or sensitive personal data; and the scope and sensitivity of the data collected and of the users of the connected software application.

The Executive Order states that within 60 days from the date of the Order, the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide the Secretary of Commerce with threat and vulnerability assessments. Thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce shall provide a report to the Assistant to the President and the National Security Advisor, recommending additional executive and legislative actions.

CLICK HERE to read the White House’s publication and the Executive Order.

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