TikTok’s In-App Browser Can Monitor Your Keystrokes, Researcher Says
A privacy researcher, the software includes code that can track behavior on websites accessed using its browser.
According to new research, TikTok’s Can Monitor Your Keystrokes browser for TikTok has the capability to track specific user behaviors on the external websites that users access using it.
Felix Krause, a software researcher based in Vienna, claims that when TikTok users click on a link in the TikTok app, the program inserts code into the website that enables TikTok to track behavior like keystrokes and what users tap on that site.
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That might make it possible for TikTok to collect private user data like passwords and credit card details. The websites are opene through TikTok’s in-app browser rather than a conventional one like Chrome or Safari, which gives the app the ability to inject the code and change the websites to allow that surveillance.
The findings were first published by Forbes, which quoted Krause as saying, “This was an active choice the corporation made.” “This is a challenging engineering project. This does not occur accidentally or at random.”
A CNET email requesting feedback on TikTok received no response. Although those elements are there in the code, TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan told Forbes that the app does not use them to track users.
The announcement comes amid ongoing security and surveillance worries regarding the TikTok app. According to some US officials, TikTok poses a concern to national security because ByteDance may provide Chinese authorities access to data about Americans gathered through the app, which they may use as a weapon against Americans. TikTok has frequently stated that it would never take such a step.
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Krause’s study included other platforms besides TikTok. He examined a total of seven in-app browser-enabled iPhone applications, including TikTok, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Amazon, and Robinhood. TikTok is the only one of those that, according to Krause, appears to track keystrokes.
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