Via Multiple Sources
TikTok was recently in hot water after it was discovered that it was accessing users’ clipboards every 2-3 keystrokes. TikTok claimed that this practice was done to detect spammy behavior and would stop accessing clipboards this year. A recent statement said that they passed an update removing this feature to Apple’s App Store recently (however, they didn’t mention the feature would be removed for Android versions).
This isn’t the only TikTok issue, however, in regards to privacy.
A security research was able to find all the different ways TikTok captures user data on devices, as shown here.
Among other things, the app collects:
- network info (IP address, wifi access points, MAC addresses)
- Device-level data (screen resolutions, versions, hardware IDs, memory usage)
- Location data tracking via GPS every 30 seconds
- Other apps you have installed
The researcher also found that much of the data was being stored insecurely and hackers could have found accounts data with some effort. The researcher further elaborates, that, having reverse engineered other social media apps, TikTok’s data collection vastly outshadows other apps.
This new information isn’t the only privacy-related issue TikTok has found itself in. In late 2019, U.S congressional leaders asked intelligence officials whether the app warranted national security concerns and several department agencies have already banned the app prompting senators to introduce a bill banning the app for all federal officials in March 2020.
TikTok also had to pay the FTC over $5M in February 2019 for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), something others still say TikTok is doing.
While the app is extremely popular, you may want to give it a second thought before letting it on your device.