One of the features in Apple’s iOS operating system tracks what iPhone users copy and paste. That’s troublesome for user privacy, but Facebook has taken it even further. When some iPhone users copy a link, Facebook now suggests that you share it—even if the Facebook app is closed.
Facebook told The Daily Beast that it is only testing this feature for a small subset of users, but why have it at all? It’s now easier than ever for users to make a few wrong clicks and accidentally post something they don’t want on their profile. However, Apple’s ability to track what you’re copying isn’t new; the iOS operating system has allowed apps to access your clipboard for some time. What makes Facebook’s new functionality creepy is that it can access your clipboard and post content directly from it into a web browser.
“I’m likely to copy and paste content I can’t remember, things like passwords (from a password management app) or one-time PINs,” information security expert Christian Frichote wrote in a blog post. “To assume that the Facebook app would do something malicious with this content is silly. But the fact that their app (and any other app) can access that content without user-interaction or permission is slightly unnerving.”
You may not be one of the users taking part in Facebook’s test, but be on the lookout—and be careful—next time you copy and paste a URL on your iPhone.