Copying and Pasting with Apple

Someone texts you an address you need, you copy and paste that address into Waze. Then you go play Angry Birds. You have a second factor log in authentication that texts a code to your phone and you copy and paste that into the application. People copy things all the time on their Apple products, but have you ever wondered who could actually see what you have stored in your pasteboard? Apple tends to have a pretty secure data system between different apps on an iPhone – but the security flaw is that everything you copy to your pasteboard becomes accessible to the application developers of the applications you open on the phone. As harmless as this sounds, a major concern of this privacy breach is that a lot of info copy and pasted into a phone is personal information such birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, etc. As well, credit card numbers could be copied and pasted, social security number etc. The information that goes into the clipboard a lot of times contains personally identifiable information and the applications you use can pull data from the clipboard. Furthermore, they have anything you have in your clipboard saved in their system now. Have you ever copied a picture to send that to your friends? Well, photographs can also be pulled, so the photo’s metadata is accessible to the developers. They now have access to information such as your real location, location the photo was taken and the GPS coordinations. This was identified at the beginning of January but Apple responded that they don’t see this as an issue. Although I see this as a major privacy flaw; if this information gets into the wrong hands, we could face serious consequences. Knowing that everything you copy and paste is accessible by applications, are you going to be more cautious of what you copy? Do you see this as a privacy breach?

3 thoughts on “Copying and Pasting with Apple

  1. The fact that all copy and pasted data is accessible to Apple does not worry me. What worries me is that malicious apps on your phone can somehow access this data, as it is all stored information. According to German software engineer, Tommy Mysk, any app installed on an iOS device could potentially act maliciously and access this data, known as clipboard data.

    I understand that Apple must temporarily store the data of what we cut and paste in order to preform the function, but I do not see why this information is permanently stored. Is there not a way that this could be deleted after it has been pasted? I know that when I go to paste something, it only is capable of pasting my most recent copy. I always assumed my previous copies were therefore void. It seems like a potential vulnerable point in Apple security that this information is continuing to be stored.

    I think Apple should look into a new way to preform this function that does not involve long term storage in order to protect security.


  2. This is a serious security issue and I definitely see it as a privacy breach. With online purchases and official documentation becoming ever more normal, people copy and paste personal information all the time. Phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and much more are copied and pasted all the time. I just read a Forbes article where they contacted Apple about the possible security flaw, but it seems Apple did not feel it was significant enough to look into. That isn’t the most surprising response from them, to be honest. Apple has actually expanded its clipboard ability over the last few years, making it able to work over multiple different devices. For instance, you can copy a picture on your phone and be able to paste it on your computer. Now seeing how relaxed Apple is about the security surrounding this, I’ll be sure to be more careful in the future.


  3. This is a serious problem that Apple needs to fix. I don’t like that they have access and can see my old copy and paste history and I cannot. It’s an invasion of privacy as they have information of mine that I don’t.

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