The White House recently issued an executive order that restricts cross-border transfers of personal data from the United States to “countries of concern.”

President Biden also urged Congress to pass comprehensive privacy legislation, especially to protect children.

Key points:

  • Focus is on sensitive data, including genomic data, biometric data, personal health data, geolocation data and financial data.
  • Concerns are with the sharing and re-sharing of the data through data brokers, such that it ends up in the hands of foreign intelligence services, militaries or companies controlled by foreign government.
  • U.S. Department of State will issue regulations.
  • U.S. Department of Justice will also issue regulations.
  • DOJ and U.S. Department of Homeland Security will issue security standards to prevent access by countries of concern to Americans’ data through other commercial means, such as data available via investment, vendor and employment relationships.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will work to ensure that federal grants, contracts and awards are not used to facilitate access to Americans’ sensitive health data by countries of concern, including via companies located in the United States.
  • The above should not stop the flow of information necessary for financial services activities. It also should not impose measures aimed at a broader decoupling of the substantial consumer, economic, scientific and trade relationships that the United States has with other countries.

For for information, read a Fact Sheet here.