Apple catches TikTok reading user clipboards; won’t do now, says Chinese app

Chinese short-video-making app TikTok has announced it will no longer automatically access user clipboards on Apple iPhones after iOS 14 in Beta exposed the app’s constant reading of user clipboards.

TikTok told The Telegraph that it would stop “snooping on users’ clipboards after iPhone update showed app constantly reads copied text”.

“A security patch from Apple has suddenly exposed just how many smartphone apps are reading users’ clipboards every time they are on screen,” said the report.

In iOS 14 Beta, one of these features is a new banner alert that lets users know if an app is pasting from the clipboard.

This has exposed the behaviour of some popular apps like TikTok as annoyed users who upgraded to iOS 14 Beta went on social media with such complaints.

“For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behaviour. 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 Chinese company said in a statement.

According to the report, other apps that read the iOS clipboard include AccuWeather, Call of Duty Mobile and even Google News.

iOS 14 is limited to developers now and the company plans to release a public beta version next month ahead of the launch later this year.

In iOS 14, all apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking.

Later this year, App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ self-reported privacy practices, displayed in a simple, easy-to-understand format.