Private Clipboard helps mimic Android 10’s clipboard privacy on older Android devices

Private Clipboard helps mimic Android 10’s clipboard privacy on older Android devices

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One of the underrated features on Android 10 is the restriction built-in for clipboard access. In Android versions prior to Android 10, every single app could read the contents of your clipboard. And this was accomplished without needing to grant any runtime permission to any app. The average user ends up copying sensitive information like usernames, passwords and addresses all the time, so it was rather trivial for apps to keep scraping this data in the background. Mishaal found out in January 2019 that Android Q/Android 10 would finally block background clip reading. But if you are on an older release of Android, you can mimic the same functionality with this Private Clipboard app.

Private Clipboard by XDA Senior Member easyjoin mimics the clipboard privacy functionality of Android 10. While Android 10 brings along a new permission “READ_CLIPBOARD_IN_BACKGROUND” that limits background clipboard access to just OEM apps, Private Clipboard adopts a roundabout method by creating a private clipboard. Users need to consciously avoid the default Copy option within Android, and instead, look for the three-dot menu after text selection. Then, choose the “Copy to Private Clipboard” option. Similarly, to paste text, select the three-dot menu and click “Paste from Private Clipboard” instead of the default paste option. This app doesn’t need any permissions to run, but it does require Android 6 Marshmallow or above.

Private Clipboard App — XDA Thread

Obviously, if you are on Android 10, you already have clipboard privacy. Android apps come with clipboard reading permission in order to accept text from the clipboard in the first place, as without the basic permission, users simply can’t paste any text that has been copied. Limiting this to just the app on the foreground thankfully plugs a rather large oversight. But in collateral damage, we do lose out on the functionality of clipboard managers because of this change.