LinkedIn to stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, said it will stop its app from repeatedly copying the contents of an iOS gadget’s clipboard. The company took this step after a consumer highlighted the privacy-invasive follow last week. This change took place following a change in iOS that exposed clipboard snooping by apps.
The weird behavior came to a picture due to a new privacy feature in iOS 14. This privacy feature which is currently in a limited beta for developers now notifies users when an app copies something from another app or device. This further led to people spotting it and questioning the behavior from apps that appear to copy content with a keystroke by a user.
LinkedIn engineering Vice President Erran Berger tweeted, “The app till date has been copying clipboard contents to perform an equality check between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard.” Further, Berger says LinkedIn doesn’t store or transmit the data. He also shared a link to an open-sourced code library containing the equality check and fix. However, Berger did not clarify why this check was necessary.” He also said that the clipboard-reading code was harmless, but the frequency of checks was concerning.
LinkedIn was called out in a tweet by a person who said LinkedIn’s iPad app was copying contents from other sources, such as notes app. Berger further tweeted in its answer that LinkedIn would follow up once the fix is live in their app.
Apple will release a public beta of iOS 14 in the coming weeks and the public release of iOS 14 will arrive later this year. With it, users will be made aware of different apps with discomforting clipboard copying behaviors and begin exploring all the changes. The new API better protects user data by hiding what’s in the clipboard and communicating what type of data it is.
The changed iOS 14 will expose apps that constantly copy user data have been via notification, which pings users every time something accesses the clipboard. Although some apps do use the clipboard legitimately, many apps constantly check the clipboard to scrape user data. As the number of users using iOS 14 will increase, more apps will likely be caught snooping on users’ clipboards.
Other than Linkedin, Reddit was also caught repeatedly copying data from the clipboard. Similar to LinkedIn, the Reddit app would trigger a clipboard notification in iOS 14 with each keystroke a user typed in the app.