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LinkedIn faces lawsuit over claims it 'secretly' read iPhone clipboard data

iOS 14's privacy protections are prompting legal action.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 11, 2020
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BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 14: The Logo of business and employment-oriented service LinkedIn is displayed on a smartphone on December 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The clipboard detection in iOS 14 isn’t just prompting developers to rethink app privacy — it’s also putting these companies in legal trouble. Reuters reports that iPhone user Adam Bauer has sued LinkedIn over claims the job-focused social network “secretly” read iOS clipboard data often, including the Universal Clipboard that shares copied content with nearby devices. The Microsoft-owned firm was spying on users, according to the lawsuit, and allegedly violated California law in the process.

LinkedIn spokesperson Dan Miller told Engadget the firm was “aware and reviewing” the lawsuit. The company previously said it doesn’t store or transmit clipboard data, and that it planned to fix the issue with an app update on July 14th. There was a flawed equality check between the clipboard and what you typed, VP Erran Berger said earlier.

There’s no guarantee the lawsuit will get class action status or move forward at all. It does, however, put added pressure on app creators to limit their access to user data. Even if the intentions are good, users might balk to the point where they’re willing to sue. That could improve overall privacy, if just due to the steep legal costs of ignoring concerns.

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