New Feature in iOS 14 Reveals Sinister TikTok Snooping

TikTok App’s Reading of iOS Clipboard Exposed by New Feature in iOS 14

With the help of this feature in the new iOS 14 beta, it has been revealed that the popular short video-sharing app TikTok was accessing the clipboard of Apple iPhone in the background.

It was never enabled on Android devices, it added.

As part of the new features arriving in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 this fall, Apple included a number of measures created to help increase the privacy of user data. And last November TikTok parent Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. was being investigated by the US government for failing to have its $1 billion purchase of Musical.ly vetted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This new upgrade for the iPhone has made it possible for you to be alerted when a popular iOS application is reading your clipboard data.

"For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature created to identify repetitive, spammy behavior". Now, users will be prompted with a notification when an application gains access to their clipboard data. Further, it's even more aggressively copying the clipboard content than before, probably every second on the app! The Chinese app has reportedly told Apple that it will stop accessing the clipboard henceforth. Mysk said only two other mobile apps out of the total 50 plus major applications identified in March, only 10% changed this functionality after it was brought to their attention. The clipboard data could also include Bitcoin addresses along with other important financial information.

An email sent to Amazon India for comment on the update did not respond to response at the time this story was published.


TikTok came under fire earlier this year for accessing devices' clipboards, and in a statement promised to end it's snopping actions, but users testing the new operating system of Iphone have found TikTok has not kept its promise.

In a report by Ars Technica, 54 from an assortment of 56 found by specialists Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry were all the while perusing the clipboard.

How exactly that works isn't yet clear, but on the other hand, let's not forget that the content stored in the clipboard can be anything, including sensitive information like passwords. With the new update, Apple seems to have realised how hard it's become to find the thing you need when you need it.

In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly tech podcast, that you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just click the play button below.

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