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iOS Users Were Being Spied on by LinkedIn, TikTok, Google, and Other apps.

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Apple recently announced their intention of launching a new version of the iOS operating system (iOS 14) for iPhones by September this year. However, they released a beta version of iOS 14 so that Apple third-party developers can start working with it to make their apps compatible with iOS 14 when it launches. And also for users, who like testing out Apple features before it is rolled out to the public.

Those who have installed this beta version of iOS 14 have reported that a new feature in the iOS enabled to them to catch apps that are spying on them through the clipboard red-handed.

Don Morton

Don Morton, a developer currently using the iOS 14 was the first to unearth the fact that apps from reputable developers such as LinkedIn from Microsoft.

Morton said in his Twitter post: “LinkedIn is copying the contents of my clipboard every keystroke. IOS 14 allows users to see each paste notification. 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.”

In response, Erran Berger, a VP Engineering consumer products at LinkedIn, told Morton that, he appreciated him for raising the issue, and confirm that the issue he raised was actually truthful. On another tweet, Erran said, this issue has been fixed.

LinkedIn isn’t the only app

After raising up the issue with the LinkedIn app for iOS users, Erran Morton called on other users who have install iOS 14 to light a fire and, not keep silent if they noticed any other apps that are accessing their clipboard without being told to. And so far, the following iOS were confirmed to be doing just that in addition to LinkedIn:

  • TikTok
  • Reddit
  • Google News
  • Patreon
  • Call of Duty
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Philips Sonicare App

So far however, only TikTok, LinkedIn, and Reddit have provided a response to this allegation.

Why You Should Care

Your Clipboard is an unseen utility that sees a lot. Because, anything, I mean anything that you copied, be it password, social security number, bank card details, a private message from a business partner, and others, is saved in the Clipboard.

So, having apps access the clipboard without you telling them to, by using the Paste commend, poses a serious security threat to your digital safety and privacy. Especially, if you are known for using apps that are not from a well-known developer that have developed a reputation for treating the privacy of their app users with serious care.

What you can Do

Many are vying that Apple should make a feature in iOS device where a user has to give express permission to an app, before it can access the user’s clipboard. But before that feature becomes a reality, clearing your Clipboard periodically is what you can do to protect yourself.

The very best option you have for clearing your iPhone, iPad or Mac Clipboard is to restart your device. Restarting your device does the job perfectly.

Another way is to use a clipboard manager app on your iOS device. Many of such apps allows you not only to see the history of what you have copied, they also give you the ability to delete any copied content of your choice.

I have also heard that, some password manager app has a setting that when enabled, will clear your clipboard after some second when you copied a password from the manager app.

Why Clearing your Clipboard will Work

From what I have uncovered so far, apps that are spying on your iOS clipboard are doing it only after you start using the app. That is, when you open the app. So, clearing your clipboard will ensure that when you open an app that spy on your clipboard, they will see nothing.

And it is important to point out the fact that, since you are not currently using iOS 14, you will not be notified, when an app access your clipboard without your say so.

Will Copying Irrelevant Content Help

The simple answer is, NO.

As I have mentioned in the What you can do section above, the last content you copied is not the only content in your clipboard.

So, never you think that, just because it is the last content you copied that you can paste, then it is only the last thing you copied that is in your clipboard.

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