TikTok caught secretly spying on iPhone users' clipboards
TikTok said that initially the feature was aimed at identifying spammy behaviour.
Apple's iOS 14 update is all set to bring a set of new privacy features that include revealing which app is accessing what is in the background. The app consists of a pop-up when the third-party app accesses the clipboard, which is a temporary store for copied text or other content. The clipboard feature is available on a range of smartphones like the iPhone.
At first, Emojipedia's Jeremy Burge reported about TikTok's clipboard access. He also shared a screen recording, showing multiple pop-ups as he posted on Instagram. "TikTok pasted from Instagram," read the pop-ups.
TikTok instantly responded to the issue and said it would stop reading iPhone users' clipboard.
As per The Telegraph, the company will stop the practice, "within a few weeks." Interestingly, TikTok had also promised to remove the clipboard access in March.
TikTok further added that initially the feature was aimed at identifying spammy behaviour.
"ForTikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behaviour. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion," a TikTok spokesperson told TheTelegraph in a statement. "TikTok is committed to protecting users privacy and being transparent about how our app works."
The report comes when TikTok is already under scanner over its data and privacy practices. This month, the European Union's data regulators have set up a task force to investigate the company's data processing activities. TikTok has already faced multiple bans in various countries and a hefty penalty in the US as well. However, the app has continued to gain popularity.