June 30, 2020

PRIVACY: Tons of news apps caught unnecessarily snooping on iPhone clipboard. “The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, and scores of other apps may have accessed your passwords and other copy and pasted data.”

While news apps are the most concerning, there are a ton of other apps that also over-access iOS’s clipboard. A few popular games include 8 Ball Pool, Classic Bejeweled, Fruit Ninja, Plants vs. Zombies Heroes, PUBG Mobile, and more.

Social apps like Viber, Weibo, and Zoosk are also included. Bottom line: it’s not looking good. Christian Selig, the developer of Apollo, a Reddit app for iOS, told The Telegraph he’d also remove the creepy feature.

And these are only the apps that we know of so far. As iOS 14 blows the whistle on more apps snooping in the background, we’re sure more apps will be added to the list.

TikTok was caught by researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk in February for its egregious clipboard access. ByteDance, the developer behind TikTok, didn’t take steps to correct the excessive data access until Emojipedia creator Jeremy Burge and several other users noticed iOS 14’s new paste notification feature alerted him that the app was “grabbing the contents of my clipboard every 1-3 keystrokes.”

Due out this fall, iOS 14 is supposed to put a stop to this kind of snooping, but in the meantime, the privacy-busting tricks revealed by the iOS beta reveal just how little regard major publications have for their readers.

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