Reddit to Release Fix for iOS App to Remove Clipboard Copying Behavior

The Reddit app has become the latest iOS app to be caught clipboard snooping, or accessing the contents of devices' clipboards without user permission.

"We tracked this down to a codepath in the post composer that checks for URLs in the pasteboard and then suggests a post title based on the text contents of the URL," a Reddit spokesperson told The Verge. "We do not store or send the pasteboard contents. We removed this code and are releasing the fix on July 14th."

Several popular third-party apps have been called out for surreptitiously copying the clipboard, thanks to a feature in iOS 14 beta that alerts users when apps attempt to do so. Apps that have been caught reading user clipboards for no discernible reason include LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Starbucks, Overstock, and more.

LinkedIn said the clipboard copying behavior of its app is a bug and a fix is in the works. TikTok claimed the clipboard access was used as fraud detection to identify "repetitive, spammy behavior," and subsequently released an iOS update to remove it.


Ahead of the release of ‌‌iOS 14‌‌ beta, two developers issued a report alerting users that ‌iPhone‌ and iPad apps were accessing clipboard content behind the scenes. Apple's new ‌‌iOS 14‌‌ feature was added in response, and there's no longer a way for apps to quietly read the clipboard without users being alerted to the fact.

Until ‌iOS 14‌ is released to the public, users who are concerned about clipboard snooping are advised to overwrite their clipboard's contents after they've used it to paste sensitive information like passwords, credit cards, bank account information, crypto keys, and so on. This can be done simply by highlighting a word on any web page or in any app and selecting "Copy" in the pop-up menu.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14
Tag: Reddit

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
You might say they got caught reddit-handed. ;)
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
Love how they all call it a „bug“ when it’s probably been there since it was launched in the App Store
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
That's some impressive bug-work going on there. They've managed to accidentally type all this code to constantly check the clipboard's contents without meaning to.

NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(self, selector: #selector(pasteboardUpdated), name: UIPasteboard.changedNotification, object: nil)

@objc func pasteboardUpdated(){
if let stolenData = UIPasteboard.general.string {
//Insert code here to steal clipboard contents...
}
}
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
People keep saying things like "I can't see any reason to allow apps to have clipboard access". Well, you need to think harder then.

Apples own apps do things such as reading SMS messages from Apple, to get 2FA codes for logging in, so you don't need to copy and paste that data. Other apps don't have as deep linking capabilities that Apples ones do, but in an attempt to recreate it, they have used clipboards. I have a parcel tracking app - if I copy a tracking number from an email and then open Parcel, it auto-fills the details with the tracking number from the clipboard. So there's one use for it, on one app I have. How many others are doing cool things?

Also I do buy the Tik-Tok anti-spam excuse. Twitter, Facebook and other such apps are absolutely filled the brim with bot. By detecting keystrokes you can work out if it's a bot of a person typing. Bots probably don't type letter by letter - a person does. A person types at inconsistent pacing, whilst a bot would be perfect. A person would use the backspace key for mistakes, etc etc. It's comparing what the person is typing to the clipboard to try and work out if it's a person, and if it's a person, are they just pasting spam messages in constantly.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying apps should all have this access to the clipboard. But with just a tiny bit of thought, it's quite easy to see how and why apps are doing this. But the practice should stop and move onto better ways of doing things.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago
If you have an iphone and are NOT using Apollo for reddit...you are really missing out. It is 1000000000x better than the stock reddit app. Crazy because its developed and maintained by ONE guy.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 weeks ago


Well said, it’s probably all a lot less malicious than it seems. It could even be that there are some negative consequences in terms of app experience due to the hysteria.

This needs to become a permission "App XYZ wants to monitor your clipboard" so that we can make a choice which apps to trust with our clipboards, and which not. This has been raised on the Apple forums, Reddit etc for eons.

Frankly this should have been done like a decade ago.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....