TikTok will stop spying on users’ clipboards after iPhone update shows app constantly reading copied text

TikTok has said it will stop reading the content on users’ clipboards after a new iPhone update revealed it was still doing so.

The popular video-sharing app had told the Telegraph in March that it would end practice in a few weeks, along with several other apps that had been caught silently accessing the clipboard whenever they were open on the screen.

But a new Apple software update shows that TikTok continues to snoop, as well as numerous other apps, including AccuWeather, Overstock, AliExpress, Call of Duty Mobile, Patreon, and Google News.

The revelation sparked anger and confusion among iPhone users and software developers, who described the clipboard reading as “creepy”, “slightly scary” and “extremely grim”.

A TikTok spokesperson said: “Following the beta version of iOS 14 on June 22, users saw notifications while using a number of popular apps.

“For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive and unwanted behavior. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any possible confusion.

“TikTok is committed to protecting user privacy and being transparent about how our application works.”

But the company did not immediately say whether it would also remove the feature on Android devices. It also did not say if the clipboard data was ever sent from users’ devices, or how long the feature had been activated.