The Universal Clipboard privacy feature on iPhone’s latest iOS 14 exposed how LinkedIn was snooping on users.
If you think that LinkedIn has been playing it fair so far, you are gravely mistaken. According to a Twitter user, Don from Urspace.io, who goes by the handle @Doncubed, Microsoft’s professional networking platform has been copying clipboard content from iOS devices with every single keystroke.
The developer caught LinkedIn snooping on the clipboard keystrokes and tweeted that:
“LinkedIn is copying the contents of my clipboard every keystroke. iOS 14 allows users to see each paste notification.”
What happened is that @Doncubed was using LinkedIn on his iPad Pro and noticed that the service was copying the keystrokes from the clipboard on his MacBook Pro, which means it has been snooping on clipboard data on iOS devices all the time.
The snooping tactics of LinkedIn were discovered because of the iOS 14 beta’s Universal clipboard privacy feature that instantly detects when a widget or app accesses data on the clipboard.
The Universal Clipboard feature has been part of the iOS ecosystem previously, however, on iOS 14 beta, it has an added functionality of notifying the user whenever an app attempts to use the clipboard data, including text, photos, images, or videos.
The developer posted a video as well to reveal the snooping tactics used by LinkedIn in real-time.
LinkedIn’s consumer products’ VP Engineering Erran Berger acknowledged the issue identified by @Doncubed and replied to his tweet explaining the company’s viewpoint.
“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 posted.
Apparently, the issue is caused by an equality check between the typed content and the clipboard contents. Berger reiterated in his tweets that LinkedIn never stores or transmits clipboard data, and a fix for this problem will be out soon.