After TikTok, now LinkedIn is snooping on iOS Users through Clipboard, fix coming soon
Just after TikTok, LinkedIn has been called out for snooping on iOS users' clipboard data. The professional networking website and job portal, owned by Microsoft, has allegedly been copying content from the clipboard with every keystroke.
Much like how it was with TikTok and other apps who were called out for snooping, LinkedIn's case came to light thanks to the new privacy and security feature Apple is bringing in with the iOS 14 and some users are already trying it out with the beta version. The feature notifies users when an app or a widget accesses the clipboard.
A developer saw, thanks to Apple's universal clipboard feature, that LinkedIn was copying content from the clipboard on the MacBook Pro. He tweeted about it and LinkedIn has acknowledged the issue and stated that a fix is on the way.
The developer who goes by the handle @DonCubed shared that LinkedIn was copying content from the clipboard down to every keystroke.
LinkedIn is copying the contents of my clipboard every keystroke. IOS 14 allows users to see each paste notification.— Don 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 urspace.io (@DonCubed) July 2, 2020
I'm on an IPad Pro and it's copying from the clipboard of my MacBook Pro.
Tik tok just got called out for this exact reason. pic.twitter.com/l6NIT8ixEF
Apple uses a Universal Clipboard feature that allows users to copy content (text, images, photos, videos etc) from one Apple device to another. This a feature that users need to enable on all their devices if they want to use it optimally.
Since the developer had this feature enabled, he could get notifications that the clipboard was being accessed on his MacBook Pro while he was using an iPad Pro. iOS 14's new privacy feature allows users to be notified when their clipboard is being accessed by an app.
Apps accessing the clipboard is not a problem essentially, Google Chrome and the Google app access it for the paste and go feature as do many other apps, but in some cases it might not be as harmless.
LinkedIn's VP of Engineering for Consumer Products Erran Berger responded to the developer's tweet and said that this was a result of an equality check between clipboard contents and content that is being currently typed.
Hi @DonCubed. Appreciate you raising this. We've traced this to a code path that only does an equality check between the clipboard contents and the currently typed content in a text box. We don't store or transmit the clipboard contents.— Erran Berger (@eberger45) July 3, 2020
Berger said that clipboard data is not stored or transmitted elsewhere. He then tweeted a link for a fix.
Several apps besides LinkedIn and TikTok have been accused to accessing clipboard data and not all of them have come up with a fix or assured one.
But besides this, the fact that a new feature that's coming in with iOS 14 helped spot this is what is important. These heightened security features are Apple trademarks almost and makes us look forward to the stable version of the iOS 14 even more.