After TikTok, LinkedIn, Reddit caught snooping on clipboard of iPhonesLast updated on Jul 05, 2020, 08:42 pm
A few days back, we reported the case of Chinese video app TikTok snooping on the clipboard of iPhones.
Now, shockingly enough, two more apps have been embroiled in a similar matter - Microsoft's LinkedIn and Reddit.
Both the apps were reportedly copying contents from the clipboard of iOS devices after every few seconds.
Here's all you need to know about the issue.
How were the apps caught?
Just like TikTok, Reddit and LinkedIn were also caught by the new feature of iOS 14 that automatically tracks the behavior of apps in the background and issues an alert as and when an application copies something from the clipboard.
In both cases, which Urspace.io co-founder Don Morton discovered, using the apps displayed the clipboard copy warning as frequently as after every few keystrokes.
Here's the snooping in action
UPDATE: Seems like Reddit is capturing the clipboard on each keystroke as well 😕— Don 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 urspace.io (@DonCubed) July 2, 2020
Seeing the notification come up just as much. pic.twitter.com/nzbElmRG2a
Soon, both companies acknowledged the issue
Both Reddit and LinkedIn have since acknowledged the issue.
Reddit told The Verge that the issue stems from a "codepath" that checks for URLs in the pasteboard and then suggests a post title based on its text.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn's Engineering VP Erran Berger said that their app performed an "equality check" between what a person is typing and what is on their clipboard.
No data has been stored, they clarified
As clipboards temporarily store text that has been copied/pasted and can often have confidential information like usernames and passwords, such nosy practices can lead to major data security issues.
However, in this case, both firms have clarified that did not store or transmit clipboard data and are in the process of deploying their respective fixes to solve the issue.
More apps likely to surface in coming days
That said, there is a good chance we will hear about more nosy apps tracking clipboard data in the near future.
The iOS 14 feature is just available on the beta version right now. Once it becomes widely available, more snooping applications will come into the light.
To recall, back in February, dozens of apps were red-flagged by two developers over the same issue.