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iOS 14's copy and paste detection forces TikTok to remove anti-spam feature

Early iOS 14 users discovered that TikTok reads their clipboard almost every keystroke.

Bangkok, Thailand - August 22, 2019 : iPhone 7 showing its screen with TikTok and other social media application icons.
Wachiwit via Getty Images
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|June 26, 2020 4:20 AM

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.

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 developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk found that dozens of popular applications — including TikTok, 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.

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iOS 14's copy and paste detection forces TikTok to remove anti-spam feature