TikTok’s In-App Browser Can Stalk Better Than Your Ex

Stop using in-app browsers!

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TikTok's In-App Browser Can Stalk Better Than Your Ex
Image: Pexels

It seems like TikTok hasn’t given up on being the data-hungry app it always has been. Its parent company ByteDance continues to thrive due to the immense popularity of short-format content and other apps. But a security researcher discovered that TikTok is sneakily tracking your browsing activity and logging your every move.

Security researcher Felix Krause found out that TikTok along with many other social apps was heavily tracking its users who use the in-app browser. He gave an interview to Vogue where he described that the browser was tracking your every single tap and was the modern equivalent of a keylogger.

Is TikTok’s In-App Browser spying on you?

Felix Krause discovered that the app injects JavaScript into external websites that you visit using the in-app browser. It does sound alarming but Felix said that it didn’t really mean that the app was doing anything malicious.

TikTok’s spokesperson gave a statement to Forbes which states that the JavaScript code is useful for debugging, troubleshooting, and performance monitoring. All this is done to ensure an optimal user experience.

Apps have the tendency to scrape up every tiny data fragment from users while giving the excuse of optimal user experience. If the app can track every bit of information you enter into a website, including your personal and financial details, it is basically spying without permission. Moreover, TikTok isn’t the brand that you can rely on for safeguarding your data and not misusing it in the future.

TikTok's In-App Browser
Image: Unsplash

Surprisingly, TikTok isn’t the only app that injects JavaScript codes into every website that you visit. Meta-owned apps do the same. But Krause found out that they weren’t collecting data as much as TikTok. He also shared that while these apps were injecting codes, there weren’t any indications of them collecting the data, or sending it to their servers.

If you want to open a link, you should prefer your default web browser on the phone. In-app browsing is a great way for developers to keep the user from switching to another app but considering the present means of tracking, it is best to avoid opening links in the in-app browsers.

Abhishek Mishra

Abhishek Mishra

I love exploring technology and devote my time to curating detailed posts and supplying credible information to inquisitive users. I wish I had some spare time to play a few RPGs or clean my desk.

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