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LinkedIn Sued for Spying on Users With Apple Device Apps

  • iOS developers discovered app diverts clipboard information
  • Users had no idea information was being intercepted, suit says
The LinkedIn app

The LinkedIn app

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn programmed its iPhone and iPad applications to divert sensitive information without users’ knowledge, according to a class-action lawsuit.

The apps use Apple’s Universal Clipboard to read and siphon the data, and can draw information from other Apple devices, according to the complaint filed Friday in San Francisco federal court. The privacy violations were exposed by Apple and independent program developers, according to the suit.

Developers and testers of Apple’s most recent mobile operating system, iOS 14, found LinkedIn’s application was secretly reading users’ clipboards “a lot,” according to the complaint. “Constantly, even.” Apple’s clipboard often contains sensitive information users cut or copy to paste, including photos, texts, emails or medical records.

“LinkedIn has not only been spying on its users, it has been spying on their nearby computers and other devices, and it has been circumventing” Apple’s clipboard timeout, which removes the information after 120 seconds, according to the suit.