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Thursday, July 09, 2020

iOS 14 shows apps reading clipboard; TikTok says it’s just anti-spam feature

The list includes AccuWeather, Overstock, AliExpress, Call of Duty Mobile, Patreon and Google News. None of these apps provide an explanation as to why they check what a user has copied on to their clipboard.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 26, 2020 12:55:52 pm
TikTok, TikTok privacy breach, TikTok reading what you write, TikTok iOS 14, TikTok reading what I write, TikTok new feature, TikTok update TikTok says it is not collecting any data from the clipboard. (Image: Reuters)

With Apple’s increased security features in iOS 14, users have been noticing a new banner that alerts of apps pasting from the clipboard. This has also brought to light that apps like TikTok are over-using the access.

Various users have reported that popular short video app TikTok is constantly reading what user have on their clipboards. This has led to people using iOS 14 developers beta to worry about TikTok copying personal data without permission.

Following the accusations, TikTok in a statement given to The Telegraph said the app is not collecting any data from the clipboard. Instead, it is using a custom-built anti-spam system to identify repetitive spam behaviour, which is causing the issue and triggering the iOS 14 privacy banner. The company has submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the feature.

Also Read: Popular Vigo Video app to shut down in India; users asked to download TikTok

In its report, The Telegraph also stated that there are many other apps that constantly check the clipboard on iOS. The list includes AccuWeather, Overstock, AliExpress, Call of Duty Mobile, Patreon and Google News. None of these apps provide an explanation as to why they check what a user has copied on to their clipboard.

As of now, it is not known if these apps also read what a user has copied on Android smartphones or not.

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