US drops Trump order targeting TikTok, plans its own review

TikTok logo

TikTok logo

TikTok also collects information from messages sent within the app, metadata, location data, device information and cookies (data on a user's device that makes targeted advertising possible).

"President Biden revoked and replaced three E.O.s that aimed to prohibit transactions with TikTok, WeChat, and eight other communications and financial technology software applications; two of these E.O.s are subject to litigation", the president's Wednesday executive order reads.

Because of the ties to China, U.S. officials remain concerned about how the apps treat Americans' data, Lewis said.

"Through this E.O. the United States is taking strong steps to protect Americans' sensitive data from collection and utilization by foreign adversaries through connected software applications".

TikTok did not offer comment on the news.

At the time, the Biden administration said it was developing a comprehensive approach to protecting data security and was reviewing the previous administration's action to determine whether the national-security threat cited by Mr. Trump continued to warrant an outright ban. "What the Biden administration wants to do is maintain an open, secure internet that doesn't take a page from Beijing's playbook, while addressing legitimate risk".

The White House and Congress have both taken actions to address Beijing's technological advancement but officials say, moving forward, such actions will be "evidence-based".

Court challenges delayed Trump's dictates from taking effect and allowed the companies to remain in the US long enough for Biden to reverse the ban. The data includes personally identifiable information and genetic information that would go to people directly linked to foreign adversaries, including China, according to a White House fact sheet.

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TikTok sought relief via the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a review of Trump's divestment order and the federal government's order to conduct a national security review.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that aims to boost US semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing global competition.

To appease Trump, TikTok also explored potential sales to American firms, including Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart. CFIUS had set deadlines for TikTok to divest its US operations, but such a sale never happened.

US officials have maintained that TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese-owned apps collect data that could be shared with China's authoritarian government. The Trump administration also attempted to prevent those apps from operating within the United States, but ongoing court challenges prevented most of those orders from going into effect, the Verge reported.

The virtual private network (VPN) company Surfshark labeled TikTok as the fourth-most "data-hungry social media app" behind Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram and Linkedin.

"President Biden is right to revoke these Trump administration executive orders, which blatantly violated the First Amendment rights of TikTok and WeChat users in the United States", she said.

"Our research shows that there is no overt data transmission to the Chinese government by TikTok", the report said.

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