Apple has released a new support document that outlines an issue that could give a third-party keyboard more access than a user realizes. The issue appears to impact iOS and iPadOS.
When third-party keyboards run for the first time users are asked whether they want to grant full access to allow them to provide additional features. Not all apps request that access, but some do. According to Apple, some keyboards are being given full access even when the user declines it.
Apple says that the default keyboard isn’t affected, nor are keyboards which don’t ask for full access at all. If one does ask, however, it could receive access regardless of how the user responds.
Third-party keyboard extensions in iOS can be designed to run entirely standalone, without access to external services, or they can request “full access” to provide additional features through network access. Apple has discovered a bug in iOS 13 and iPadOS that can result in keyboard extensions being granted full access even if you haven’t approved this access.
Apple says that the bug will be fixed in a future update such as iOS 13.1.1 or 13.2, although it doesn’t yet say when that update will be available for download.
In the meantime anyone concerned about their third-party apps should uninstall them. You can see which keyboards you have installed, as well as whether they have asked for full access, by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
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