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How Tik Tok Has Been Snooping On iOS Users

Chinese owned video sharing platform Tik Tok is battling yet another allegations of privacy breach.

Tik tok logo

The official Tik Tok logo (P|Tiktok)

In March, a report published by Telegraph exposed that Tik Tok had been snooping on clipboard content on iOS devices.

Another report compiled by Telegraph last week has revealed that Tik Tok was still snooping on users’ content.

According to The Telegraph, TikTok had, in March this year, said that they were to bring in changes within a few weeks but failed to do so.

As per the latest revelation, when a third-party app accesses a device’s clipboard with iOS 14, (latest update) a notification pops up.

Users have found out that TikTok has been eyeing content from the clipboard, even when the apps were running in the background.

However, TikTok while responding to the allegations, cited upgrades glitch from the latest iOS.

Other companies mentioned on the list of firms, rather apps, caught snooping on users in this way include; AccuWeather, Overstock, AliExpress, Mobile Call of Duty, Patreon, and Google News.

TikTok has been in the eye of the storm for a very long period of time now.

This set adds to a trove of allegations against TikTok, the Beijing-based company that was already under severe scrutiny from government agencies across the world for the close connection its parent company Bytedance shares with the Chinese Communist Party.

In 2019, The Federal Trade Commission fined the company $5.7 million after it found that the company was in violation of a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The FTC has concluded that TikTok used to allow children aged below 13 years to sign up on the platform that clearly violated parental control.

Yesterday, Monday, Narendra Modi, India’s PM announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok and UC Browser, in a move that it claimed was necessary to “safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users”.

None of the apps is identified as Chinese in the press release, nor did the government reveal why this need to “safeguard” Indian mobile and net users has arisen right after the clash with Chinese troops in Galwan, Ladakh – where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action – and not earlier.

There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” a government press release said.

On the basis of these and upon receiving recent credible inputs that such apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices… This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” it read.

TikTok is one of five Chinese companies that have made donations to the PM CARES Fund set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight COVID-19 and there is no indication yet of whether the fund intends to refund the Rs 30 crore the company said it had handed over.


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