In a class-action styled lawsuit filed last month, Adam Bauer, a LinkedIn user, accuses the social networking platform of accessing his and other iPhone users’ sensitive data from Apple’s “Handoff” clipboard. 

The purpose of the clipboard is to temporarily store data that a user copies from one device application to paste on another application on that device. The clipboard can also be used to cut and paste data across a user’s various Apple devices, including Macs and iPads. Bauer alleges that a user of the clipboard has a reasonable expectation of privacy that the data temporarily stored there will not be accessed or shared without the user’s consent. 

Bauer also uses the LinkedIn app on his iPhone and iPad devices. Apple released its iOS 14 operating system in September 2016 with a new privacy feature that notified a user every time an app on their device read from the clipboard, Bauer alleges that he activated this feature and thereafter discovered that LinkedIn was “reading” his clipboards without notifying him or obtaining his consent. 

Following the filing of the complaint, LinkedIn apparently released a new version of its app to resolve the problem and the case has been voluntarily dismissed. This short-lived lawsuit draws raises the question of other apps are accessing clipboard data without users’ consent

Access the Bauer Complaint here. Contact us at Ossian Law P. C. regarding any information technology law matter.

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