February 28, 2024

Wyden Statement on Data Export Executive Order

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today praised the White House for acting to curb exports of sensitive U.S. Data to unfriendly foreign countries, and called on Congress to pass his Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Surveillance Act to further defend our information from foreign criminals and spies. 

“Shady data brokers funnel Americans’ private data to spies and criminals overseas, and President Biden deserves praise for taking the first step in fighting back. I appreciate that the executive order in some ways mirrors my bipartisan Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Surveillance Act. However, the Administration’s decision to limit personal data flows only to a handful of countries of concern, like China, is a mistake. Authoritarian dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and UAE cannot be trusted with Americans' personal data, both because they will likely use it to undermine U.S. national security and target U.S. based dissidents, but also because these countries lack effective privacy laws necessary to stop the data from being sold onwards to China. 

“Finally, the Administration has argued Congress should not ban the U.S. government from buying Americans' data, because such protections would put the United States at a disadvantage to China and Russia. With this EO, that argument is no longer valid, and the Administration should stop opposing common sense surveillance reform.”

Wyden and a bipartisan coalition of House and Senate members have called for new protections against U.S. government purchase of Americans’ sensitive data to be included in surveillance reform legislation this year