McMorris Rodgers Bill To Protect Americans’ Sensitive Data Signed Into Law By President Biden

Also Signed: Legislation Rodgers’ Championed To Force TikTok To Divest From ByteDance

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Biden signed into law two pieces of legislation Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) championed to safeguard Americans’ sensitive data and protect national security. 

The Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act (H.R. 7520), which Rodgers introduced with Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act (H.R. 7521), which she led through the Energy and Commerce Committee, officially became law as part of the larger foreign aid package for America’s allies passed by Congress this week.

As Rodgers said last month, “Foreign adversaries, like the Chinese Communist Party, pose the greatest national security threat of our time. TikTok’s access to 177 million American users makes it a valuable propaganda tool for the CCP to exploit. Today’s legislation will end this abuse by preventing apps controlled by foreign adversaries from targeting, surveilling, and manipulating the American people.”

She also said, “[W]e will not allow our adversaries to undermine American national security and individual privacy by purchasing people’s personally identifiable sensitive information from data brokers. H.R. 7520 is another key step towards strengthening data protections and safeguarding our nation from foreign adversaries.”

How did we get here?

March 23, 2023

House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers called TikTok CEO Shou Chew to appear before the committee to testify on TikTok’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. This was Chew’s first appearance before a congressional committee.

March 7, 2024

Following a classified briefing with members of the intelligence community about the dangers posed by applications that are controlled by foreign adversaries, the Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and unanimously passed H.R. 7521 to put a stop to the weaponization of platforms like TikTok being used to manipulate the American people.

April 23, 2024

On Tuesday evening, just three days after the House of Representatives, the Senate passed legislation to ban or force a sale of TikTok, “delivering a historic rebuke of the video-sharing platform’s Chinese ownership after years of failed attempts to tackle the app’s alleged national security risks.” The bill was signed into law by President Biden today, starting the clock on TikTok’s requirement to divest from ByteDance.

The Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act (H.R. 7520):

  • Limits how data brokers share American’s sensitive information abroad.
  • Makes it illegal for data brokers to sell personally identifiable data of Americans to North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, or entities controlled by any of these countries.

Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act (H.R. 7521):

  • Prevents foreign adversaries, like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from targeting, surveilling, and manipulating the American people through applications such as TikTok.
  • Requires ByteDance – which is controlled by the CCP – to divest TikTok and other applications it controls within 365 days or face a ban.
  • Creates a narrow process to allow the President of the United States to prohibit access to an application that is owned by a foreign adversary if it poses a threat to national security.

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