Last week, a New York resident brought a lawsuit against LinkedIn in a federal court in California. The plaintiff argues that LinkedIn violated consumer privacy by programming LinkedIn apps on iPhones and iPads to collect sensitive data. This alleged privacy violation involves the Universal Clipboard feature on Apple devices, through which users can share data across multiple devices. Since many consumers would be affected similarly, the plaintiff has asked the court to allow the lawsuit to proceed as a class action.
The complaint alleges that the LinkedIn app gains access to clipboard information without the consent of consumers by using a paste command. It reportedly reads information on the clipboard with each keystroke, as observed by other users. The plaintiff asserts that he would not have used the LinkedIn app had he known about this practice. This is not the first time that privacy concerns have arisen related to the paste notifications feature on iOS 14. Dozens of apps accessed clipboard data when the feature was first introduced in June.
LinkedIn responded to deny that it collects or transmits the contents of the clipboard. It claims that any collection of consumer data is a glitch in the app, caused by checking the clipboard contents against content typed into a LinkedIn text box. When it updated its iOS app on July 4, LinkedIn included certain unspecified bug fixes.
You can explore the progress of this case here at the Justia site.
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