TikTok is STILL spying on iPhone users by secretly reading content saved to clipboard, devices running on the beta version of Apple’s iOS 14 have revealed
- Earlier this year TikTok was found to secretly read users’ clipboards
- The firm vowed to stop accessing clipboards, but a new report finds it has not
- Users testing Apple’s iOS 14 found the app is still copying from their clipboards
- A notifications appears at the top warning users the app is accessing content
The beta release of Apple’s iOS 14 has pulled the curtain on TikTok, revealing the video sharing app is still secretly reading users’ clipboard contents.
The firm came under fire for snooping earlier this year and vowed to stop accessing devices’ clipboards, but users testing the new operating system found TikTok has not kept its promise.
When the app access the clipboard on a device with iOS 14, a notification appears at the top and a video shared on Twitter shows that TikTok was looking at the clipboard every free strokes – even when it was running in the background.
A TikTok spokesperson told The Verge that it submitted an update to the App Store to have the feature removed.
Scroll down for video
A video shared on Twitter shows a user typing a comment in the app and every few seconds a banner alert appears, letting him know that TikTok has accessed his clipboard
DailyMail.com has reached out to TikTok for comment and has yet to receive a response.
TikTok has been the center of many privacy issues, the latest was found in February by software developers that discovered an issue in the copy-past system of Apple’s iOS that might leave sensitive information vulnerable.
After the firm was called out for spying, it vowed to stop the act – but the new iOS system has shown otherwise.
And again, the firm is claiming to stop ‘snooping on users’ clipboards after iPhone update shows app constantly reads copied text,’ reports The Telegraph.
The alternative possibility is TikTok stealing what is on my clipboard every single time I type a keystroke.
I don’t have a way to know for sure. Thought it worth putting out there.
— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) June 24, 2020
A video shared on Twitter shows a user typing a comment in the app and every few seconds a banner alert appears, letting him know that TikTok has accessed his clipboard.
However, this app is not the only one sneaking in the shadows.
The Telegraph notes the banner appears on devices running on iOS 14 when using other apps including AccuWeather, AliExpress, Call of Duty Mobile, Google News, Overstock and Patreon.
When the app access the clipboard on a device with iOS 14, a notification appears at the top and a video shared on Twitter shows that TikTok was looking at the clipboard every free strokes – even when it was running in the background
TikTok is no stranger when it comes to privacy issues, as last year it was fined $5.7 million by US authorities to settle charges that it illegally collected personal information from children.
The Federal Trade Commission said in February 2019 the penalty by the social network, which had been known as Musical.ly, was the largest ever in a children’s privacy investigation.
The social network, which has been surging in popularity with young smartphone users and taking over from rivals like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, failed to obtain parental consent from its underage users as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), FTC officials said.
FTC chairman Joe Simons said: ‘The operators of Musical.ly – now known as TikTok – knew many children were using the app, but they still failed to seek parental consent before collecting names, email addresses, and other personal information from users under the age of 13.’
‘This record penalty should be a reminder to all online services and websites that target children: We take enforcement of COPPA very seriously, and we will not tolerate companies that flagrantly ignore the law.’
WHAT IS TIKTOK?
TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.
TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.
It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.
TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.
Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.
Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app Musical.ly, also with headquarters in China.
Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.
It offers users a raft if colorful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.
The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).