LinkedIn will stop its app from automatically copying the contents of an iOS device’s clipboard. The social media platform that is popular among professionals calls the issue a ‘behaviour bug’, according to ZDNet.
According to LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger, the app copies contents from the clipboard so as to perform an “equality check” between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard. Berger did not say why this seemingly privacy-invasive practice was necessary, he however said LinkedIn wasn’t storing any data.
“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,” Berger wrote via his Twitter handle in response to a user complaint.
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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
A new privacy feature in iOS 14, which is currently in a beta version for developers was responsible for discovering the issue. iOS14 now notifies users when an app has read content from another app or device.
LinkedIn is not alone as other apps also appear to copy clipboard contents at regular intervals. Chinese short video app TikTok was also caught reading content from users clipboard at regular intervals.
TikTok said the feature was part of a fraud detection mechanism and it wasn’t stealing content from the clipboard. However, the app promised to remove the behaviour to ease its users’ privacy concerns.
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