Clipboard, privacy, iOS Reddit and LinkedIn: are they spying on you?

Never, not even with a change in the clipboard, does it rain to everyone’s liking. If not to tell Reddit and LinkedIn, who should not feel especially grateful to Apple for the news that the Cupertino have introduced in iOS 14, the next version of their operating system for devices and that was presented in the past WWDC 2020. More specifically, I mean a novelty that has fact that many eyes have been directed to the app of both services for iPhone. I mean, of course, clipboard privacy feature.

Although it is not something that, as a general rule, has worried the common population, from the security field it does this function of the operating systems is observed with attention and distrust. And it is true that it is quite useful, so much so that I do not know anyone who does not use it regularly, but it can also be a threat to security or, at least, to privacy, since access to it by of applications, either on PC or mobile device, by any application and / or process is practically free.

This, of course, is inherent in its nature and what gives it much of its usefulness. Now, the problem comes when the user is not aware that the content of the same is being accessed without his request. To solve this problem, iOS 14 has a function that indicates to the user, with a pop-up message, that an app has accessed the clipboard, and with the tests of this function in the beta version, the first two surprises have already emerged: the Reddit and LinkedIn apps are constantly snooping on it.

As Engadget reports, Reddit has justified itself by claiming that its iOS app constantly checks the device’s clipboard when the user is typing to display title suggestions based on its content. If it is a link, of course. I’m sorry, I must be stupid but, in order to make suggestions, Wouldn’t it make more sense to do them based on the text that the user has started to write? What if what is on the clipboard is not a URL but my mother’s phone? Or the shopping list? In any case they have said that they are going to fix it.

For its part, LinkedIn claims that the problem is due to the app checking if the contents of the clipboard and what the user has written coincide. It would be interesting to know the reason why they consider that this function is necessary, but for the moment we are left without knowing it. Just as we also don’t know when this problem will be fixed. Of course, when it happens they will tell us, and with this I am much calmer (yes, it is sarcasm).

Now i will be honest yeah I believe what both companies say when they say that the information on the iOS clipboard has not been copied or transferred to their servers. Yes, there will surely be those who think that I am naive, but today it is my opinion. What if I put my hand in the fire? Not kidding, of course. What I do think is that the privacy function of the iOS clipboard is a great success, and I cannot help thinking that many companies will be rushing to modify their apps, so that users do not discover more “snoopers” of the clipboard .

Image: Andrés Nieto Porras

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