US Senator proposes new law aimed at limiting Apple data flow to China

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China
Tim Cook meeting with China's vice premier.
Photo: Tim Cook

One of tech’s biggest opponents in Washington D.C. proposed a new bill this week that could have huge implications on Apple and TikTok’s business operations if put into law.

GOP senator Josh Hawley from Missouri introduced legislation today that would prevent the Chinese company that owns TikTok from collecting information on American users and sharing it with the Communist Party of China. The bill would also stop American companies like Apple from storing user data in China.

Hawley believes that Chinese are a threat to U.S. national security because they capture data about U.S. citizens which could then possibly be shared with the Chinese government. The bill, called the National Security and Personal Data Protection Act, aims to limit the flow of data between the U.S. and China.

Under Hawley’s proposed law, the U.S. state department would have to approve any acquisitions of American tech companies by Chinese companies. While TikTok has been Hawley’s biggest boogieman lately, the young senator is also worried that iCloud data stored in China and encryption keys could fall into the hands of the communist party.

Last year, Apple migrated all of its iCloud data for Chinese users over to state-controlled servers. The iPhone-maker says it does not store U.S. users’ data on Chinese servers. Apple also insists that no one outside of the company has access to its encryption keys.