The chief attorney for TikTok and its Chinese parent firm ByteDance defended the social media platform’s strategy to protect U.S. user data from China in the face of increased scrutiny from Washington that might result in a potential ban.

At a cybersecurity conference on Friday in Sausalito, California, sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation and Aspen Digital and attended by top government officials, tech executives, and journalists, general counsel Erich Andersen said, “The basic approach that we’re following is to make it physically impossible for any government, including the Chinese government, to get access to U.S. user data.”

Andersen stated that ByteDance would keep working on the development of its new Lemon8 software.

Andersen said, referring to the new social app created by ByteDance that resembles Instagram and Pinterest, “We’re clearly going to try our best with the Lemon8 app to comply with U.S. legislation and to make sure we do the right thing here.” But I believe we still have a ways to go with that application—really it’s at the starting phase.

TikTok, the most well-known app from ByteDance, is under under investigation due to worries that it may provide user data to the Chinese government or disseminate propaganda and false information in support of Beijing.

In April 2020, Lemon8 was launched in Japan’s app stores, and since then, it has expanded to more nations. It can be downloaded in the US and might come under the same kind of scrutiny as TikTok.

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