Monday, January 18, 2021
Home News Reports TikTok is secretly accessing your iPhone's clipboard: Report raises massive security concern about Chinese...

TikTok is secretly accessing your iPhone’s clipboard: Report raises massive security concern about Chinese app snooping on users

As per the Forbes report, Apple initially refused to acknowledge the vulnerabilities in the Chinese app and came up with a solution, following media uproar. The report also urged TikTok users to update the app to the latest version and remember that the app has active access to one's clipboard, prior to the release of the update.

The Chinese social media video streaming app, TikTok, has been the subject of yet another controversy. According to a Forbes report, it has been found to be snooping on people by exploiting a bug in iOS 14 and accessing the clipboard secretly. While allegations surrounding security concerns of the said app are not new, a fresh set of concerns was raised by security experts Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk. 

Dismissing all allegations, Bytedance, the owner of TikTok reiterated that the problem was related to an outdated Google Advertising Software Development Kit (SDK). In its defence, the Chinese app said that access to clipboards on the phone was caused due to a ‘feature’ which is meant to identify spammy and repetitive behaviour. TikTok claimed that an updated version of the app was submitted to remove both the feature and the confusion. Forbes noted that while TikTok had vowed to put an end to this ‘invasive practice,’ but it continued unabated as late as April.

“TikTok is committed to protecting users’ privacy and being transparent about how our app works,” the Chinese app was quoted as saying. It further assured to invite outside experts to their Transparency Centre. As per the report, the company was initially willing to brush aside the vulnerabilities of their app and blamed obsolete third-party SDKs. A TikTok spokesperson said, “The clipboard access issues, showed up due to third-party SDKs, in our case an older version Google Ads SDK, so we do not get access to the information through this. We are in the processes of updating so that the third-party SDK will no longer have access.”

TikTok caught red-handed

As per the report, TikTok assured that the issue was fixed. “TikTok does not get access to the data, but we are updating regardless to resolve it”, the company informed over email correspondence. However, with the development of Apple’s new iOS 14, it was revealed that the Chinese app was still having access to the clipboard messages, contrary to the earlier claims. While it could not be ascertained whether the act was ‘deliberate or inadvertent’, but all such apps would have to change.

The Data Vulnerability of TikTok

Forbes reported that Apple had a universal clipboard functionality which implied that anything copied on the Macbook could also be read on the iPhone or iPad. In case TikTok is active on a phone that is used for work, then, the app can read financial information, passwords, sensitive data, documents, and so on. When the Chinese app was exposed in early 2020, there were questions about how the user data was put to use by the company. But, with the recent security update in Apple’s security features, the app is forced to make changes.

Apple indifferent to the data breach

As per the Forbes report, Apple initially refused to acknowledge the vulnerabilities in the Chinese app and came up with a solution, following media uproar. The report also urged TikTok users to update the app to the latest version and remember that the app has active access to one’s clipboard, prior to the release of the update. Researchers conceded that while iOS had a mechanism to counter security risks, it was not effective in safeguarding data privacy. “There was a tremendous public interaction with the topic—not only iOS users but also Android users demand more restriction and transparency about the apps that use the system-wide clipboard,” they emphasised.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Farmer leader Gurnam Chaduni teamed up with Congress to topple Khattar govt in Rs 10 crore deal: Reports

Chaduni is also accused of instigating 'farmer' protestors to vandalise the venue of Haryana CM Manoharlal Khattar's rally earlier this month.

Gujarat: Ram Mandir fund collection rally attacked again, riots in 2 villages of Kutch

Hindu rallies to collect funds for the Ram Mandir attacked in two locations in Kutch, Gujarat.

Waste of talent, resources and time: I watched Tandav on Amazon Prime so you don’t have to

Tandav on Amazon Prime would've died its own slow, painful death and vanished without a whimper has it not got the attention it got in past few days.

After mouthing platitudes over farmer protest in India, Justin Trudeau’s police cracks down on protestors in Toronto

People in Toronto had taken to the streets to protest against the arbitrary closure of businesses and job loss due to lockdown.

Uttar Pradesh surpasses its paddy purchase target two months in advance, makes record payment to farmers

While the state government has surpassed the procurement target, Yogi Adityanath has instructed that the procurement of produce will continue in the state.

Pakistan claims India staged Pulwama attack after Mumbai Police leaks chat to embarrass Arnab, Republic hits back: Details

Pakistan has now issued a statement on the nonsensical controversy surrounding the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami

Recently Popular

British-Pakistani singer Zayn Malik says he loves India and fans can’t keep calm

Recently, Zayn Malik was heard singing Mohammad Rafi's Chaudavi Ka Chand in the track Tightrope.

What the Nidhi-Harvard story reveals about our world: Get off your high horse, you are not that special, anyway

Liberal journalist, Nidhi Razdan, thought she had received an offer from Harvard University to become an Associate Professor of journalism.

‘Not a single NPA in the three decades of its existence,’ Adani Group rubbishes Subramanian Swamy’s allegations

On Friday, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had put out allegations on Twitter against Adani accusing him of non-payment of loans worth Rs 4.5 lakhs, which has allegedly turned into an NPA.

Congress admits Mumbai police leaked Arnab Goswami chats: Here are all the wild conspiracy theories they generated

Prithviraj Chavan has admitted that it was the Mumbai Police which leaked the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami.

Condom over Shivling: Netizens slam actress Sayoni Ghosh for desecrating Hindu symbol, expose her dubious ‘account hacked’ claim

Saayoni Ghosh claimed that her account was hacked and she didn't posted the image in 2015, but netizens proved she is lying

Pakistan claims India staged Pulwama attack after Mumbai Police leaks chat to embarrass Arnab, Republic hits back: Details

Pakistan has now issued a statement on the nonsensical controversy surrounding the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami

Pakistan PM Imran Khan uses Indian media to target India ahead of Republic Day

Imran Khan tweeted on Monday that the transcripts leaked by Mumbai Police vindicated his government's claims about the Modi government's intentions.

While Times Now goes hammer and tongs after Arnab Goswami, here is what Times of India published ahead of air-strike

The Arnab Goswami private WhatsApp chats leaked by Mumbai Police have created quite the storm.

Farmer leader Gurnam Chaduni teamed up with Congress to topple Khattar govt in Rs 10 crore deal: Reports

Chaduni is also accused of instigating 'farmer' protestors to vandalise the venue of Haryana CM Manoharlal Khattar's rally earlier this month.

Went undercover as ‘Iftikhar Bhatt’, killed two Hizbul terrorists: The story of Major Mohit Sharma

Major Mohit Sharma from the 1 Para Special Forces was martyred in an anti-terror operation in Kupwara in 2009.

‘Madam Chief Minister’ poster row: Bhim Sena threatens to cut off Richa Chadha’s tongue, actress apologises for poster

The poster of 'Madam Chief Minister' showed Richa Chadha holding a broom. Many have called it an offensive stereotyping of the Dalit community.

Gujarat: Ram Mandir fund collection rally attacked again, riots in 2 villages of Kutch

Hindu rallies to collect funds for the Ram Mandir attacked in two locations in Kutch, Gujarat.

Waste of talent, resources and time: I watched Tandav on Amazon Prime so you don’t have to

Tandav on Amazon Prime would've died its own slow, painful death and vanished without a whimper has it not got the attention it got in past few days.

Pakistan: Demand for an independent ‘Sindhudesh’ intensifies, placards of PM Modi raised

The demand for a free Sindh nation, Sindhudesh, has been a long-standing demand of the people of the province.

After mouthing platitudes over farmer protest in India, Justin Trudeau’s police cracks down on protestors in Toronto

People in Toronto had taken to the streets to protest against the arbitrary closure of businesses and job loss due to lockdown.

‘Web Series Tandav can hurt religious harmony’: UP Police files FIR against makers, police team to be sent to Mumbai

An FIR has been filed in the Hazratganj Police Station in Lucknow against the makers of 'Tandav'.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,800SubscribersSubscribe