LinkedIn plans to stop its app from repeatedly copying the contents of an iOS device’s clipboard, after a user highlighted the seemingly privacy-invasive practice earlier in the day this week. ZDNet reports that LinkedIn called the behavior a bug.
The app copies clipboard contents to be able to perform an “equality check” between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard, according to LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger. Berger didn’t say why this always check was necessary. “We don’t store or transmit the clipboard contents,” Berger wrote on Twitter.
The behavior was discovered thanks to a brand new privacy feature in iOS 14, that is currently in a limited beta for developers. The os now notifies users when an app copies something from still another app or device. This has generated people spotting questionable behavior from apps that may actually copy clipboard contents with every keystroke.
LinkedIn was called out in a tweet on Thursday from an individual who said LinkedIn’s iPad app was copying contents from other sources, such as a notes app. A LinkedIn spokesperson pointed The Verge to Berger’s tweet when asked for comment. Berger wrote that LinkedIn would follow-up “once the fix is live in our app.”
TikTok was called out for similar behavior last week. The app similarly appeared to be repeatedly grabbing clipboard contents as a user typed, ultimately causing concern that it was spying on data from other apps. TikTok said the behavior was element of an “anti-spam” feature and that it would discontinue the practice.
As iOS 14 rolls out more widely — a public beta is expected in the coming weeks — it’s likely we’ll learn of other apps with similarly discomforting clipboard copying behaviors.