RIP Clipboard Managers: Android Q blocks background clipboard access
We all thought that Android P stood for privacy, but after uncovering some of the goodies Android Q offers, it clearly beats Android Pie. The first Android Q Beta was released just yesterday, but we’ve been hard at work identifying all the new changes that don’t meet the eye. One of those changes turned out to be blocking the clipboard access to apps that don’t need it. On the previous versions of Android, which most of you use probably, any application could access the clipboard data. As you’d imagine, that could cause serious security issues. Android Q is changing that.
We first talked about this change about two months ago in our exclusive Android Q expose. The Android Developers website now uncovered that Android Q will block clipboard access to all applications that run in the background. The only exceptions currently are input method editors (IMEs), so mostly keyboard applications. After our testing, we confirmed that none of the clipboard managers are able to see the contents of the clipboard as of now. Google’s website mentions that these changes are only affecting the apps that exclusively target Android Q, but our testing shows different results, as none of our tested applications targeted Android Q but their clipboard access was still restricted.
While this is a huge win for security, it will affect many 3rd-party developers. I’m sure you’ll agree that letting every single app to access your clipboard, where you copy sensitive data like passwords and credit card information, is not a good idea. But there are some legitimate apps that make good use of this functionality. Gboard also got the clipboard manager support in version 7.7. These will be one of the few applications which will be granted permission from the OEM to use the clipboard manager, as it is an input method editor.
Source: Android Developers