By TechThop Team
Posted on: 20 Aug, 2022
As TikTok grapples with U.S. lawmakers' concerns over data practices, new research indicates that its web browser tracks every keystroke made by users.
The research by Felix Krause, a privacy researcher, and former Google engineer, did not show how TikTok used this capability, which allows users to view links from outside the app. According to Krause, the development is concerning since TikTok can track users' online habits if they choose to.
People's typing habits while visiting outside websites can be collected by malware and other hacking tools, revealing credit card and password information.
It's not common for major technology companies to release a major commercial app with such a tracker enabled, even as they test new software, researchers say.
According to Krause's findings, the TikTok in-app browser monitors keystrokes, which is problematic since users may enter sensitive data such as login credentials on external websites, said Jane Manchun Wong.
In her view, TikTok's in-app browser can 'extract information from external browsing sessions, which some users find intrusive.'
ByteDance, which owns TikTok, said Krause's report was 'incorrect and misleading,' adding that the feature was used for 'debugging, troubleshooting and performance monitoring. As claimed in the report, TikTok doesn't collect keystrokes or text inputs.
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