Apple iOS update exposes 53 apps for spying on users, TikTok included

TikTok has announced they will stop reading clipboard data following Apple's security update.
TikTok has announced they will stop reading clipboard data following Apple's security update. Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple's most recent update has exposed 53 apps, including TikTok, for spying on users clipboard data.

The new operating system will alert users when an app reads the contents of an iPhone's clipboard.

Clipboard data is anything that has been copied by the user, which can include sensitive information such as passwords or personal images.

AliExpress, Accuweather, Patreon, Google News and Call of Duty Mobile were identified for taking content when on screen.

A banner alerts iOS 14 users with a 'pasted from Messages' pop-up when an app is reading their cut-and-paste content.

TikTok has announced they will stop reading clipboard data following Apple's security update.

A TikTok spokesperson said the feature was introduced to "identify repetitive and spammy behaviour".

A report in March revealed that TikTok and other popular apps were spying on iPhone clipboards. The company then stated they would discontinue the practice, but Apple's new update has revealed otherwise.

The US Navy called the video-sharing social network a "cybersecurity threat" in December 2019.

A spokesperson told The Verge the clipboard feature was never introduced to Android devices.

Apple's iOS 14 update will be available next month.

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