The iOS 14 beta, recently introduced by Apple at the virtual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), has a new security feature that warns users with a pop-up when an app automatically inserts content from the clipboard. According to the blog Mysk, it has been known since March 2020 that many popular apps use this function to copy sensitive information without the user’s knowledge.
Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia has now noticed that the Chinese video service TikTok also regularly copies the clipboard without asking. According to him, this happens about every three keystrokes. How TikTok uses the data thus obtained is still unclear.
In a statement, the company told the British newspaper Telegraph that the function would be deactivated in the near future. According to TikTok, the function was used to identify “repeated, spam-like behavior”.
Similar behavior was also found with the apps from Starbucks, AccuWeather, Fox News, New York Times or Overstock. However, these apps did not copy the clipboard as aggressively as TikTok, but only once when opening or switching to the app.