The Commerce Department To Probe Into National Security Issues With Chinese-made Automobiles

( — President Biden’s Department of Commerce recently announced an investigation into foreign-made cars, primarily those from China, due to concerns about potential risks related to the cars’ manufacturing. President Biden expressed concerns about how Chinese-made vehicles use various tools to collect data from American users, such as the cars’ GPS information and information collected from phones connected by users to the vehicles. Biden’s planned investigation will determine whether or not Chinese car manufacturers collect American citizens’ data without permission.

Biden also referred to how Chinese manufacturers use various methods to gain an advantage over the American market. Another concern for the president is the Chinese government allowing its automobile manufacturers to oversaturate the vehicle market in America, essentially forcing American consumers to purchase Chinese-made automobiles that can then clandestinely collect their data. When discussing his concerns about “connected vehicles,” President Biden mentioned that a car’s manufacturer could remotely disable a customer’s car, to catastrophic results.

China’s government is already taking steps to avoid a similar issue with American-made cars, as the country limits the number of vehicles manufactured in other nations that are available to its citizens. President Biden signed an executive order to restrict other nations’ ability to collect data from Americans without their knowledge or consent to prevent China’s consumer data misuse. Among the different types of information Biden seeks to protect is information about individuals’ finances, health, and physical location.

Biden’s executive order allows the Justice Department to prevent massive transfers of information from Americans to foreign nations, which have a history of misusing data collected from United States citizens. The primary concern for the Biden administration is preventing cyber attacks within the United States, a growing trend that could endanger citizens through identity theft or infrastructural attacks with citizens’ credentials.

The executive order also limits American companies’ ability to collect consumer data. Biden said these companies could sell users’ data to other countries, enabling hostile actions against American citizens. Biden referred to online scams, digital blackmail, and information selling as key issues enabled by company data-selling. Legal experts expect the White House to issue further restrictions against foreign nations and American companies to limit how much data they can collect from American citizens. The Biden administration also plans to clarify the data collection policy so that information shared between the United States and other nations, such as scientific research, remains available between countries.

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