Friday, July 3, 2020

iOS 14 reveals TikTok, Chrome, and 52 other apps are stealing your data

A new feature in iOS 14 reveals that popular apps such as TikTok, Google Chrome, The New York Times, Fox News, AccuWeather, and others (a total of 54 apps) are stealing your personal data. Though this information made headlines in March, the release of Apple’s iOS 14 allows anyone to see how these apps are taking information from the user’s clipboard without consent.

A new notification feature in iOS 14 (which aims to allow transparency and protect user privacy) shows whenever an app reads data that has been copied into the clipboard. That means anytime you copy an image, personal message, or a password, these apps read that information without user consent. This happens in the background right when you launch the app, and there is no visual notification from these apps that shows this is going on.

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Anyone with iOS 14 can try copying some text into their clipboard and try opening one of the above-mentioned apps. The notification will show up. This is also demonstrated in a video that went viral recently. You can watch the video below.

Video Source: Ryan Jones / YouTube

Clipboard reading is a practice that a lot of apps are continuing without user consent, and it needs to stop. TikTok has already been under a lot of scrutiny for its practices, but it is still troubling to see even major American tech giants like Google following the same. Why does Vice News, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal want to read our clipboard?

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This issue was first brought to light by researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk. In a statement, TikTok representatives said that the behavior was meant to fight spam and repetitive behavior. Though the explanation makes sense, it still doesn’t give users confidence based on the app’s ties to the Chinese government.

List of apps copying your clipboard data

This is a list of apps that were found by the researchers to be monitoring clipboard data in the background, via arsTechnica. If you use any of these apps, make sure to check what text you have copied in your clipboard, just in case. There could be more apps, however as Mysk notes in the comments section of arsTechnica, they only focused on the popular apps in the top charts.

News

  • ABC News — com.abcnews.ABCNews
  • Al Jazeera English — ajenglishiphone
  • CBC News — ca.cbc.CBCNews
  • CBS News — com.H443NM7F8H.CBSNews
  • CNBC — com.nbcuni.cnbc.cnbcrtipad
  • Fox News — com.foxnews.foxnews
  • News Break — com.particlenews.newsbreak
  • New York Times — com.nytimes.NYTimes
  • NPR — org.npr.nprnews
  • ntv Nachrichten — de.n-tv.n-tvmobil
  • Reuters — com.thomsonreuters.Reuters
  • Russia Today — com.rt.RTNewsEnglish
  • Stern Nachrichten — de.grunerundjahr.sternneu
  • The Economist — com.economist.lamarr
  • The Huffington Post — com.huffingtonpost.HuffingtonPost
  • The Wall Street Journal — com.dowjones.WSJ.ipad
  • Vice News — com.vice.news.VICE-News

Games

  • 8 Ball Pool™ — com.miniclip.8ballpoolmult
  • AMAZE!!! — com.amaze.game
  • Bejeweled — com.ea.ios.bejeweledskies
  • Block Puzzle —Game.BlockPuzzle
  • Classic Bejeweled — com.popcap.ios.Bej3
  • Classic Bejeweled HD —com.popcap.ios.Bej3HD
  • FlipTheGun — com.playgendary.flipgun
  • Fruit Ninja — com.halfbrick.FruitNinjaLite
  • Golfmasters — com.playgendary.sportmasterstwo
  • Letter Soup — com.candywriter.apollo7
  • Love Nikki — com.elex.nikki
  • My Emma — com.crazylabs.myemma
  • Plants vs. Zombies™ Heroes — com.ea.ios.pvzheroes
  • Pooking – Billiards City — com.pool.club.billiards.city
  • PUBG Mobile — com.tencent.ig
  • Tomb of the Mask — com.happymagenta.fromcore
  • Tomb of the Mask: Color — com.happymagenta.totm2
  • Total Party Kill — com.adventureislands.totalpartykill
  • Watermarbling — com.hydro.dipping

Social Networking

  • TikTok — com.zhiliaoapp.musically
  • ToTalk — totalk.gofeiyu.com
  • Tok — com.SimpleDate.Tok
  • Truecaller — com.truesoftware.TrueCallerOther
  • Viber — com.viber
  • Weibo — com.sina.weibo
  • Zoosk — com.zoosk.Zoosk

Other

  • 10% Happier: Meditation —com.changecollective.tenpercenthappier
  • 5-0 Radio Police Scanner — com.smartestapple.50radiofree
  • Accuweather — com.yourcompany.TestWithCustomTabs
  • AliExpress Shopping App — com.alibaba.iAliexpress
  • Bed Bath & Beyond — com.digby.bedbathbeyond
  • Dazn — com.dazn.theApp
  • Hotels.com — com.hotels.HotelsNearMe
  • Hotel Tonight — com.hoteltonight.prod
  • Overstock — com.overstock.app
  • Pigment – Adult Coloring Book — com.pixite.pigment
  • Recolor Coloring Book to Color — com.sumoing.ReColor
  • Sky Ticket — de.sky.skyonline
  • The Weather Network — com.theweathernetwork.weathereyeiphone

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