A small change from Apple in iOS 14 has in many ways opened the pandora’s box and revealed the shady tactics employed by many apps of silently reading clipboard data in the background. A number of popular apps including TikTok were caught constantly reading clipboard data and with Apple’s name and shame approach in iOS 14, they were forced to acknowledge and fix the issue. Now, the LinkedIn iOS app has also been found reading and copying content from the clipboard on iPhones and iPads in iOS 14.
As discovered by @DonCubed and revealed on Twitter, the LinkedIn app on his iPad Pro was copying the clipboard content from his MacBook Pro after every keystroke thanks to the Universal Clipboard feature that’s available across Apple devices.
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. pic.twitter.com/l6NIT8ixEF
— Don 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 urspace.io (@DonCubed) July 2, 2020
A LinkedIn spokesperson reached out to ZDNet and confirmed that this is a bug and not the app’s intended behavior. LinkedIn’s VP Engineering of Consumer Products, Erran Berger, also took to Twitter to clarify the bug. He noted that they traced this bug to a code path that “does an equality check between the clipboard contents and the currently typed content in a text box.” He also confirmed that the app was not storing or transmitting clipboard content in any way.