OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:19 PM – Thursday, December 28, 2023
Many social media users on TikTok are now perplexed as to why the popular video app is purportedly requesting that they enter their iPhone passcode in order to watch content.
“TikTok itself doesn’t explicitly state the exact cause,” according to an article from industry expert publication Dataconomy.
TikTok has also been exposed in the past for spying on a number of journalists from major networks, according to reports.
The site Dexerto highlighted the extremely concerning problem, which was reportedly brought to the public’s attention for the first time in late November. Additionally, even more users raised the alarm in December after experiencing the request themselves.
Apple also issued two critical security patches for iPhone and other product customers around this same time frame.
Some users have claimed that the more recent iOS update apparently “fixed an issue that gave access to private user information.”
However, none of the four explanations provided by Dataconomy regarding why TikTok is requesting this personal security information are particularly comforting.
The site suggested that the required passcode could be a “temporary security measure requiring passcode entry to address certain vulnerabilities or privacy concerns.” It may also be tied to an app update, glitch or enabling the content filter known as ‘restricted mode.'”
As a content filter, “restricted mode” may need a password in order to later confirm a user’s age, according to Dataconomy.
Security experts caution that sharing your password is almost always a terrible idea, especially in these situations, due to the obvious security hazards and lack of ease in which phishing attempts could occur or prove successful.
In this instance, nevertheless, some users have discovered appropriate solutions.
In a Reddit post, TikTok users who were asked for their passwords said that the problem went away as soon as they “updated their app to version 32.5.0.”
“Some users have reported bypassing the passcode prompt by selecting ‘cancel,’ indicating that this might indeed be a bug rather than an intentional feature,” according to Dataconomy.
The alarming information was released soon after Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa.) accused TikTok of being the reason for the “warped” viewpoints of many young Americans regarding the ongoing situation in Israel and Gaza.
TikTok was also fined $368 million by European officials in September of last year for violating children’s privacy.
Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), alerted Congress in late 2022 about “national security concerns” pertaining to the Chinese-owned TikTok.
“They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users, or control the recommendation algorithm which could be used for influence operations if they so choose, or to control software on millions of devices,” Wray warned.
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