TikTok has rolled out an update that would prevent the app from accessing iOS users’ clipboards, according to The Telegraph. See, iOS 14 comes with a new feature that alerts users if an application is copying and pasting text from their clipboard. A number of people who got early access to the mobile OS discovered that the short-form video app would copy-paste what they’re typing as often as 1 to 3 keystrokes based on the alerts they kept getting.
Okay so TikTok is grabbing the contents of my clipboard every 1-3 keystrokes. iOS 14 is snitching on it with the new paste notification pic.twitter.com/OSXP43t5SZ
— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) June 24, 2020
Hey @tiktok_us, why do you paste from my clipboard every time I type a LETTER in your comment box? Shout out to iOS 14 for shining a light on this HUGE invasion of privacy. inb4 they say it was a “bug” pic.twitter.com/MHv10PmzZS
— Maxel (@MaxelAmador) June 25, 2020
In response to the complaints, TikTok told The Telegraph that the prompts are being “triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior.” The spokesperson added: “We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion. TikTok is committed to protecting users' privacy and being transparent about how our app works.”
As the publication notes, the social network promised to stop its app from reading users’ clipboards back in March. That’s after a couple of developers found that dozens of popular applications — such as AccuWeather, Starbucks and Call of Duty Mobile — exhibited the behavior on both Android and iOS. Now, it seems to have finally released an update that makes good on that promise. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if TikTok will also update its Android app to remove the same anti-spam feature for Google’s mobile platform.