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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.


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.

Article Link: iOS 14 Notifies Users When an App or Widget Reads Your Clipboard
 
Last edited:

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
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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?
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
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There's a few clipboard managers already available in the App Store. They don't notify you of nefarious app snooping like iOS 14 will, but most have widgets that allow you to quickly view and clear the clipboard contents.

I highly recommend everyone getting in the habit of clearing your clipboard frequently. With these apps it's easy
 
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Pirate!

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2017
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There's a few clipboard managers already available in the App Store. They don't notify you of nefarious app snooping like iOS 14 will, but most have widgets that allow you to quickly view and clear the clipboard contents.

I highly recommend everyone getting in the habit of clearing your clipboard frequently. With these apps it's easy
Do you have a couple of recommendations I could look at?
 

cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
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There's a few clipboard managers already available in the App Store. They don't notify you of nefarious app snooping like iOS 14 will, but most have widgets that allow you to quickly view and clear the clipboard contents.

I highly recommend everyone getting in the habit of clearing your clipboard frequently. With these apps it's easy
But then of course, you have the issues of the said clipboard app reading your clips.

Do you have a couple of recommendations I could look at?
I personally use a Siri shortcut to clear my clipboard. Easy, transparent, free.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
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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.]
 

Pirate!

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2017
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It should be an option in Privacy, to toggle which apps are allowed access to the clipboard.
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).
 

jhfenton

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Dec 11, 2012
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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.]
Parcel does basically the same thing. If you hit the add button with a tracking number or tracking URL on the clipboard it will parse it and populate the add dialog. All you have to do is give it an optional name.
 

cupcakes2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
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I’d be interested to see your build on this. Could be interesting to have an automation attached with it to clear it every so often
I just made a shortcut that copies a blank sentence in notes to the clipboard, then put a button in the widgets section. Nothing complicated. I’m sure you can modify something like it to auto wipe,

I have been taking a look at this one too, for a more fully featured clipboard manager. I didn’t write this, but it’s been useful. Of course, the beauty of a Siri shortcut is that you can check and modify anything it does. I value that for something like clipboard management.

EDIT** Forgot the link: https://routinehub.co/shortcut/4080
 
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uniquexoxo

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2018
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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.
 

robotica

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2007
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Edinburgh
Shocker! google bring an absolute scumbag at every opportunity. There was no need to read the clipboard In that clip.
 

cwwilson

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2009
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Got around to playing with iOS 14 on my iPhone. I’m digging the new setup as I now only have one app page (homescreen) with the widget drawer on the left and the new app drawer on the right.

Might take some getting used to but I think I like it.

2BAC09F6-DC3E-4F4C-B093-F98101B82E98.png


F192D1E7-43D6-4ABE-993A-3CCB40EE886B.png


6F87AE6E-1AEA-4E6D-8788-82833AD1930C.png
 

DailySlow

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2015
176
80
Northern Virginia
There's a few clipboard managers already available in the App Store. They don't notify you of nefarious app snooping like iOS 14 will, but most have widgets that allow you to quickly view and clear the clipboard contents.

I highly recommend everyone getting in the habit of clearing your clipboard frequently. With these apps it's easy
Cloudclip
- - Post merged: - -

But then of course, you have the issues of the said clipboard app reading your clips.



I personally use a Siri shortcut to clear my clipboard. Easy, transparent, free.
exactly what command for that? sounds v useful
 
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jimsuth

macrumors newbie
Jul 9, 2010
6
1
It's kind of a difficult situation. The Mac is based on using the clipboard to share info to all the apps you use. If you have 5 apps open and want to paste the same message in each then having to turn on permissions in each app defeats the purpose. The purpose is to have a handy way to share info.

Apps read the clipboard on purpose that is the idea.
 
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