On February 28, 2024, President Biden issued a groundbreaking executive order (EO) establishing the framework for new restrictions on transactions involving US persons’ sensitive personal data and “countries of concern,” including China, or related parties.

The EO and forthcoming regulations will impact the use of genomic data, biometric data, personal health care data, geolocation data, financial data and some other types of personally identifiable information. The administration is taking this extraordinary step in response to the national security risks posed by access to US persons’ sensitive data by countries of concern – data that could then be used to surveil, scam, blackmail and support counterintelligence efforts, or could be exploited by artificial intelligence (AI) or be used to further develop AI. The EO, however, does not call for restrictive personal data localization and aims to balance national security concerns against the free flow of commercial data and the open internet, consistent with protection of security, privacy and human rights.

In a recent article, authors David Stewart, Ludmilla L. Kasulke, Caroline Spadaro, Alan L. Friel, Scott Warren, Kate Kim Tuma, and Bridget McGovern discuss this topic in depth, which you can read here.