A security researcher has found an additional 53 iOS apps capturing clipboard data when they are open and possibly sharing data with other devices.
This comes after The Telegraph recently found that TikTok was violating users’ privacy and reading their clipboards.
As part of its emphasis on privacy in iOS 14, Apple has added a banner alert that tells users when an app is reading from their clipboard, which is why these app violations are starting to get reported by users.
The researcher found that apps for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fruit Ninja, PUBG Mobile and Viber are all reading clipboard data.
Some apps, including TikTok, have said that they will update their apps to remove this behaviour and cut back on their clipboard use.
There are quite a few concerns regarding these reports, especially since we don’t know how the apps are behaving on Android. It’s also likely that we’ll hear about more apps reading clipboard data as more people start to use the iOS 14 feature.
Regardless, the reports show that it’s important to be careful when you’re copying sensitive data, and to always remember to clear out the clipboard after doing so, which can be done by copying a random bit of text.
Update 30/06/20 10:00 am ET: Viber provided MobileSyrup with the following statement: “While the described issue of saving clipboard items exists in other apps, Viber has never used this option since it has a very strong commitment to its users’ privacy. Back in April when Viber was notified about the potential exploit of this feature, Viber immediately made the necessary changes to block this option altogether.”