Microsoft Corporation’s LinkedIn programmed its iPhone and iPad applications to divert sensitive information without users’ knowledge, according to a class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court. Bloomberg News reports that the apps use Apple’s Universal Clipboard to read and siphon the data and can draw information from other apple devices, according to the complaint that was filed in San Francisco federal court. The privacy violations were discovered and exposed by Apple and other independent program developers, the lawsuit states.
Collection of Sensitive Information
Individuals who were developing and testing Apple’s most recent mobile operating system, iOS 14, found LinkedIn’s application was secretly reading users’ clipboards “a lot,” even “constantly,” the complaint said. Apple’s clipboard often contains sensitive information that users cut or copy to paste such as photos, texts, emails or even medical records.
According to the lawsuit, LinkedIn has not only been spying on its users but also on their nearby computers and other devices. It has also been circumventing Apple’s clipboard timeout, which removes the information after 120 seconds, the complaint says. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Adam Bauer of New York City who says he routinely used the LinkedIn App on his iPhone and iPad.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of users based on alleged violations of federal and California privacy laws and a breach of contract claim. A number of media outlets including Forbes and the Verge reported LinkedIn’s collection of sensitive information.
Class Action Lawsuits
Recently, a number of class action lawsuits have been filed with regard to companies selling people’s private information without authorization or siphoning this type of information without consumers’ knowledge. There is no question that this is a blatant violation of our privacy as consumers not to mention a breach of contracts, as this lawsuit alleges. If LinkedIn did in fact spy on users, the company should be held accountable.
We hope this and other class-action lawsuits deter companies from engaging from spying on consumers and prevent companies from selling this type of sensitive information without notifying customers. As California class action lawyers, we hope that these companies that have violated the privacy and rights of millions of customers are held accountable.