iOS 14 Notifies Users When an App or Widget Reads Your Clipboard

Earlier this year, developers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk revealed that many iPhone and iPad apps quietly access the clipboard, which is where text that has been copied and pasted is temporarily stored. Given that users may have sensitive information copied to the clipboard, such as passwords, this could pose privacy and security concerns.

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Fortunately, it appears that Apple is making a change to provide users with more transparency. As demonstrated by Mysk, the first developer beta of iOS 14 notifies users when an app or widget pastes text from the clipboard.

These clipboard notifications are one of many privacy-focused changes introduced in iOS 14, with others including an indicator whenever an app is using your device's microphone or camera, as well as a new setting that lets you choose to share your approximate location, rather than your precise location, with an app.


Installing the iOS 14 beta currently requires an Apple Developer Program membership, which costs $99 per year, but a free public beta will be rolled out next month. The software update will be released to all users with an iPhone 6s or newer in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

Porco Avatar
25 months ago
Is it just me or... why not prevent apps from reading the copy/paste buffer without specific user consent (or at least make that an option, I can understand/imagine there might be some specific instances where users want automatic pasting of the buffer, though I’d guess that would be a small minority)?

Telling me an app is being naughty is good - but preventing them from being able to be naughty in the first place is better, surely?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simply258 Avatar
25 months ago
It should be an option in Privacy, to toggle which apps are allowed access to the clipboard.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
25 months ago
This is great. Bringing greater situational awareness to the users is a good thing.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
25 months ago

Is it just me or... why not prevent apps from reading the copy/paste buffer without specific user consent (or at least make that an option, I can understand/imagine there might be some specific instances where users want automatic pasting of the buffer, though I’d guess that would be a small minority)?

Telling me an app is being naughty is good - but preventing them from being able to be naughty in the first place is better, surely?
The Deliveries app has a pretty good workflow that benefits from automatically reading the clipboard. You copy a tracking number, open the Deliveries app, and it immediately parses the tracking number in the clipboard, identifies the carrier, and suggests adding it to the list of tracked packages.

There might be other workflows that benefit from reading the clipboard.

Is it worth losing those workflows for the sake of privacy and security? Maybe, not sure. But there are workflows that benefit from it.

[EDIT: just re-read your post. I agree, it should be an opt-in dialog that you allow on a per-app basis, like with location tracking.]
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mdracer Avatar
25 months ago
Burn them at the stake!

I don’t want them seeing how often I copy corrected ways to spell words.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uniquexoxo Avatar
25 months ago

One problem I could see with this is that it could make some of the platform features not functional, such as the auto fill of validation codes from Messages to basically any app.Apple doesn’t seem to like allowing the user to disable something they specifically designed (took a while, initially, to be able to delete built-in apps, for example).
I don’t think clipboard copies those codes such as OTP for transactions. Rather AI reading the text and understanding it as a verification code and the system detects that you have a numberpad open in app hence AI learning detects it as a validation code for that app hence suggesting it, that is also why validation code doesn’t appear when you have a full on keyboard open onscreen. The code wasn’t really copied per se, but rather read and understood in an AI level.

this is to my understanding on how validation code and OTP works.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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