President Joseph R. Biden revoked several of the Trump Administration’s executive orders targeting TikTok, WeChat, and other Chinese-owned apps.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Biden replaced these orders with a new one addressing apps linked to foreign adversaries, such as China.
The new order is aimed at defending the privacy of Americans’ personal data. The Biden administration is requiring security reviews of TikTok, WeChat, and similar apps. This new order does not target any specific companies. Rather than trying to shut down Tik Tok specifically, the Biden Administration has instituted a broader reviewing process for foreign apps.
The administration will also consider Trump’s previous actions to determine whether Tik Tok warranted an absolute ban.
Ever since Tik Tok gained popularity in the U.S., many experts have raised concerns about the app’s data mining. According to a Business Insider article, Tik Tok can collect “as many as 50 kinds of information from users 13 and older — everything from age, username, gender, and email address to details about your mobile device, content of messages, and tracking data about your online activities.”
Although Biden has withdrawn orders targeting specific companies, his administration appears to share similar national security concerns as the Trump administration given that he has issued security reviews of foreign apps.
CNN obtained a memo describing the order, which said that the “Biden Administration is committed to promoting an open, interoperable, reliable and secure Internet, protecting human rights online and offline, and supporting a vibrant, global digital economy.”
Despite Biden and Trump’s many differences, it seems both administrations agree that Tik Tok and other such apps should be examined in order to protect Americans’ security.