In spite of promising last year to discontinue this practice, the incredibly popular video-sharing app TikTok hasn’t stopped accessing users’ clipboard content on iOS devices. Now, the representatives of the platform have announced that it will make the app stop reading the text in the copy-and-paste function.
Thanks to a new feature on iOS 14, which notifies people whenever a third-party app accesses the clipboard of a device, iOS users were able to find out that TikTok was checking content from the function every few keystrokes, even when the app was running in the background.
The parent company, ByteDance, had announced earlier this year that it planned to discontinue the practice of accessing devices’ clipboards, according to The Telegraph, but did not provide a window time.
Okay so TikTok is grabbing the contents of my clipboard every 1-3 keystrokes. iOS 14 is snitching on it with the new paste notification pic.twitter.com/OSXP43t5SZ
— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) June 24, 2020
A TikTok representative said in an announcement that it had sent an update to the App Store to get rid of the feature, which is noted as an ‘anti-spam’ action. The function was never accessible to Android devices, the company said.
“Following the beta release of iOS 14 on June 22, users saw notifications while using a number of popular apps. For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior,” the representative said, adding that ByteDance was ‘committed to protecting users’ privacy and being transparent about how the app works.’
TikTok had faced some harsh critique for past security problems, with the most prominent one happening in February of last year when the company had to pay $5.7 million to the Federal Trade Commission as it allegedly broke COPPA, a children’s privacy law.
What it actually happened – the platform allowed children under 13 years old to sign up for an account without parental consent. The developers have since changed the policy and various things in the app that increased parental controls.
In addition, a few US government agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Navy, and the Army, have restricted the use of TikTok on devices issued by the government, claiming concerns over alleged connections of the company with the Chinese government.
Paula is an outstanding reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, always finding new and interesting topics to bring to the portal. She mostly crafts Science and Technology news articles, covering everything one needs to know about those niches. Paula studied at Concordia University.