HomeWinBuzzer NewsBiden Administration Targets Data Broker Industry to Safeguard American Personal Information

Biden Administration Targets Data Broker Industry to Safeguard American Personal Information

Joe Biden signs a national security Executive Order that aims to strengthen regulations around data brokers against state sponsored attacks.

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In an unparalleled move aimed at enhancing national security, President Joe Biden has signed an executive order on February 28, 2024, prohibiting the mass sale of sensitive American personal data to nations identified as threats, including Russia and China. The executive order encompasses a wide range of personal information categories such as geolocation, genomic, financial, biometric, health, and other personally identifying data. An administration official has highlighted the national security risks stemming from the current legal framework which permits the unregulated sale of data to foreign entities. The official underscored the urgent necessity to close these security gaps, notably after revelations that personal data of U.S. military personnel could be acquired easily by posing as foreign agents.

Ramping Up Data Sale Regulations

The Biden administration’s initiative marks an unprecedented effort to regulate the data broker industry, which has been largely unchecked and now poses a significant threat to national security. Data brokers, along with companies engaging in cloud service contracts, investment agreements, and employment agreements, will face stringent restrictions on the sale of large datasets of Americans’ personal information to designated nations or their entities, including Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, whether directly or indirectly. The Justice Department is expected to oversee the enforcement of these new policies, requiring data brokers to exercise due diligence in vetting their clientele to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions and these new directives.

A Call for Comprehensive Legislation

Despite this substantial executive action, the White House acknowledges that more legislative work remains. The Biden administration continues to press Congress for the enactment of comprehensive bipartisan privacy legislation, with a particular emphasis on protecting children’s safety online. While the executive order significantly curtails the sale of Americans’ data to nations posing a security risk, it does not extend those protections against countries or companies not considered a threat.

By tackling the largely unregulated practices of the data broker industry, the Biden administration aims to mitigate the risks of sensitive personal information exploitation by foreign adversaries. The executive order reflects a critical step forward in safeguarding Americans’ data privacy and strengthening the nation’s cyber and national security infrastructure against emerging threats.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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