LinkedIn plans to stop its app from repeatedly copying the contents of the clipboard of an iOS device, after a user earlier this week highlighted the seemingly privacy-invasive practice. ZDNet reports LinkedIn is calling the behavior a bug.
According to LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger, the app copies clipboard contents to perform a “equality check” between what a user types and what’s inside their clipboard. Berger hasn’t said why the check was needed. “We don’t store or convey the contents of the clipboard,” Berger wrote on Twitter.
The behavior was discovered thanks to a new privacy feature in iOS 14, which is currently in a limited beta for developers. The operating system now notifies users when an app copies something from another app or device. This has led to people spotting questionable behavior from apps that appear to copy clipboard contents with every keystroke.
LinkedIn was called out in a tweet on Thursday from a person 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.”
Last week TikTok was summoned for similar behaviour. Similarly, the app seemed to grab clipboard content repeatedly as a user typed, leading to concern that it was spying on data from other apps. TikTok said the behavior was part of a “anti-spam” feature and that the practice would cease.
As iOS 14 rolls out more widely — a public beta is expected in the coming weeks — we’ll probably learn from other apps with similarly discomforting behaviors in clipboard copying.