190108 tiktok
Image Credit: AFP

TikTok was seen trending over social media platforms in the UAE, this weekend, following a report that Apple had caught the video-sharing app, secretly spying on millions of iPhone users.

Apparently, a new feature in iOS 14 alerts Apple users when apps read the clipboard, and it looks like TikTok has been overly reading and accessing clipboard data.

TikTok users who upgraded to iOS 14, noticed alerts warning them that the app was accessing their clipboard “every 1-3 keystrokes”.

According to Twitter geeks, this basically means, if TikTok is running in the background on your phone while you work, then the app can basically read anything and everything you copy on another device, including passwords, sensitive information or documents, emails and even financial information.

TikTok was called out for a similar privacy issue in April. According to a Forbes.com report: “Worryingly, one of the apps caught snooping by security researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk was China’s TikTok.” However, at the time, they reportedly said that the problem was related to the use of an outdated Google advertising SDK that was being replaced.

With the release of the new clipboard warning in the beta version of iOS 14, “TikTok seems to have been caught abusing the clipboard in a quite extraordinary way. So it seems that TikTok didn’t stop this invasive practice back in April as promised after all,” said the Forbes.com article.

Twitter users were seen discussing the issue and asking why the app had not been banned after regular breaches.

According to the writer of the Forbes.com article: “All iPhone users should update to the latest version of TikTok as soon as it’s released—and given it is actively reading your clipboard, you might want to bear that in mind while using the app ahead of that update.”