Shady TikTok Caught Snooping iPhone Clipboard Data Via iOS 14 Privacy Feature pic.twitter.com/nfRACrFZTO— 502 Geek Guy (@Its502geekguy) June 28, 2020
TikTok may end its nosy reading of the clipboard on iOS, but that doesn't mean other app developers mend their ways. Security researcher Tommy Mysk told that an additional 53 apps identified in March still indiscriminately capture universal clipboard data when they open, potentially sharing sensitive data with other nearby devices using the same Apple ID. The apps are also major titles – they would normally be trustworthy.
The behavior can be seen in Fox News, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal news apps. You will also find it in games such as Bejeweled, Fruit Ninja and Mobile PUBG. Social applications such as Viber, Weibo, Zoosk ... Some utility and media apps, including AccuWeather, DAZN and Overstock, do this as well.
Some developers of apps have vowed to change their behaviours. In addition to TikTok, Happier and Hotel Tonight are cutting their use of the clipboard by 10 per cent. There are apps which use the clipboard smartly, too. For example, pixelmator only pulls data when there's an image. It will also come as no surprise if there are more changes thanks to the clipboard monitoring of iOS 14, which will be credited by Apple to Mysk and his colleague Hal Bakry.
However, the concern is not only that the clipboard is being misused by this handful of apps. There's a chance many other apps will show similar behaviour. It's also unclear how these Android apps conduct themselves.
I use Apple's built-in password completion in Safari. It syncs across Mac, iPad and iPhone, and it never gets pasted into the clipboard in the first place. It's a free alternative for people really worried about privacy.— Caio Andrade (@caiofbpa) June 26, 2020
TikTok said the anti-spam feature that raised alarms over the iOS version is not present in Android, but did not say if, for other reasons, it accessed the clipboard on Google's OS. It is therefore a good idea to avoid copying sensitive data unless necessary and clear the clipboard (such as copying a harmless piece of text) when copying valuable information , regardless of your device choice.