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TikTok caught spying, and they aren’t alone as more apps found accessing clipboard

Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference came with a raft of new features for iOS14 and their other platforms. One of those features (available in iOS14’s beta) lets have control over what information the apps on your phone can access. TikTok and others have been caught out by this feature.

The clipboard is one of those things that has become second nature to most. Copying a link, text or even images to share in other apps is something that we all do regularly. That information that we move about is what TikTok was found to have been accessing.

iOS 14 shows a banner alert when an app accesses something it shouldn’t or does have permission to. Below are tweets by Jeremy Burge showing how TikTok was caught out:

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https://twitter.com/jeremyburge/status/1275896482433040386?s=20
Jeremy Burge

What was TikTok’s response to this?

According to Forbes, TikTok said that it was an anti-spam feature that is meant to spot spammy or repetitive behaviour. They have also said they have submitted an update that fixes this.

They have admitted to it without really admitting to it, and they scrambled to cover their tracks. Thing is TikTok aren’t been the only ones that were found out.

90t5 Mac

In a report by Engadget, there are more apps that do this. Wall Street Journal, Fox News and even games like PUBG and Bejeweled have been triggered the clipboard warning banner.

This has only been caught on iOS. Would it be the same for Android?

The fear is there may be a whole host of apps that are doing this. They may have been doing this for a very long time, and we are now just hearing about it.

The safest course now is to not copy any sensitive information, regardless of the mobile device. If it is absolutely necessary to do so then clearing the clipboard or copying a harmless piece of text after the sensitive information are prudent measures.


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