LinkedIn caught; Secretly reads user data from iPhone’s clipboard, NewYork Lawsuit

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Professional networking platform LinkedIn is facing a lawsuit from a New York-based iPhone user who is accusing the firm of reading and diverting sensitive user data from Apple’s Universal Clipboard Application.

Apple’s Universal Clipboard allows its users to copy and paste content including photos, texts, images and videos from one Apple device to another.

LinkedIn reads the Clipboard details without notifying the user, says the complaint reported by Adam Bauer in San Francisco federal court.

According to last week’s media reports, 53 apps including TikTok and LinkedIn were found to be reading the Universal Clipboard content of users, after Apple’s new privacy function began alerting users every time the clipboard was accessed with a banner saying “pasted from Messages.”

“These ‘reads’ are interpreted by Apple’s Universal Clipboard as a ‘paste’ command,” Bauer’s lawsuit alleged.

Only last week, a LinkedIn employee had tweeted that the company has launched a revised version of its app that will continue this practice.

According to the lawsuit, the developers and testers of Apple’s iOS 14 operating system found that LinkedIn’s application on iPhones and iPads “secretly” read users’ clipboard “a lot”.

The case seeks to recognize the petition, under California law, as a class action based on suspected violations of law or social norms.

Further, the lawsuit says that LinkedIn not only spied on its users but it also on their neighboring computers and other devices. It has been alleged to have been able to find a way around Apple’s Universal Clipboard Timeout that erases the information after a time period.

LinkedIn has not offered any comment regarding the matter.