Apple announced its latest OS iOS14 at this year’s WWDC and during the beta testing for the same, the tech giant caught TikTok recording user’s cut-paste data and whatever the user was typing on their keyboard.
The new alert on iOS14 lets the user know if any app is pasting from the clipboard and if they are reading from the cut-paste data. This alert leads to TikTok’s reveal.
This alert was added based on the research by German software engineer Tommy Mysk in February; he discovered that every app installed on an iPhone or iPad can access clipboard data. And thus Apple added this new banner alert in its latest OS.
Soon after the update, many users started complaining about the issue, “Hey @tiktok_us, why do you paste from my clipboard every time I type a LETTER in your comment box?” wrote @MaxelAmador actor and podcast host on Twitter. “Shout out to iOS 14 for shining a light on this HUGE invasion of privacy.”
Though many other apps like Accu Weather, Call of Duty Mobile, and even Google News can read clipboard data it seems strange as to why TikTok would need to do so.
After finding this glitch, Apple released a patch and fixing the issue, even TikTok said in March that it would stop the practice but it seems like they are still snooping on user’s data.
In response, the social media app stated, “For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion”.
The clipboard tool in iOS helps the user to copy text and images and paste them on another app, the glitch leads to apps access this data, making it quite worrisome. And all this data could be accessed without the user’s consent. Apple should be appalled for this expose but another pressing question remains- should the Android community be worried about the same?