iOS: More Than 50 Apps, Including TikTok Still Spying On iOS Users’ Clipboard

The release of the iOS 14 beta following WWDC 2020 has lead to many people discovering that various apps are still peeking at their clipboard. The clipboard contains any text that a person chooses to copy or cut. The user can then paste this text elsewhere. This data can often be sensitive information, such as passwords.

iOS 14 Beta Feature Catches Many Apps Accessing Clipboard

So, an app accessing this data without the user’s knowledge is extremely problematic for their privacy. The only reason this has come up is due to a new feature in the iOS 14 beta. With this feature, users will get a notification whenever an app is accessing the clipboard behind their backs.

One of the apps that have come under the scanner in this regard is TikTok. Back in March of this year, Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk released a study on this specific issue. It pointed out that these apps are peeping on users’ clipboards.


TikTok And Other Apps Were Caught Accessing Clipboard Before iOS 14

Users on older firmware such as iOS 12 and iOS 13 had no way of finding this out on their own. After this study came to light, TikTok and other such apps quickly announced that they would stop this. However, iOS 14 certainly doesn’t think so.

TikTok has once again issued a statement in their defence. They claimed that it was their anti-spam filter that was triggering this notification.

“We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion.

TikTok is committed to protecting users’ privacy and being transparent about how our app works. We look forward to welcoming outside experts to our Transparency Center later this year,” said their spokesperson. There are numerous other apps that are triggering this notification, too.


News Apps, Games Also Triggering Accessing Clipboard Per iOS 14 Beta

Many of these are news apps, such as ABC News, Al Jazeera English, Fox News, New York Times, etc. Even gaming apps such as PUBG Mobile and Fruit Ninja are on this list. This notification is popping up in an iOS 14 beta, so it’s possible that this feature could be getting triggered erroneously.

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