This week: EU-US privacy shield struck down, but talks continue; White House and Defense Department announce mid-band spectrum auction for 5G; Ninth Circuit decision largely upholds FCC decisions to promote 5G deployment; President Trump signs Executive Order targeting Chinese apps.
President Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Chinese Apps
After months of threats, on August 6 President Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting any person or entity under the jurisdiction of the United States from conducting transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of Chinese social media platform TikTok. The order will come into effect on September 20 and follows warnings that the President would move to ban the social media platform if not sold to an American company. Microsoft is currently in discussions to purchase the app; however, the Trump Administration has only given Microsoft until September 15 to close a deal, or the app will be banned from the United States on national security grounds. President Trump issued a similar order targeting WeChat, a Chinese messaging app that is much less popular in the United States, on the same day.
Concerns surrounding TikTok are not new. Many privacy stakeholders have suggested that user data owned by the company may be compromised, as current Chinese law provides Chinese regulators with near universal access to user data stored in the country. In prefacing the orders, Trump highlighted that many federal entities, including the Department of Homeland Security and United States Armed Forces, have already prohibited downloading TikTok on government phones. Similarly, the Senate, by a unanimous vote, passed a bill last week banning TikTok on all government-issued devices. The House passed a similar measure as an amendment to its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month. TikTok is expected to file a lawsuit against the Administration soon.
Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Emerging Technologies Washington Update.