SwiftKey, the popular keyboard app that was bought by Microsoft earlier in the year, posted an entry on its blog that outlined immediate changes to its cloud sync service.
“This week, a few of our customers noticed unexpected predictions where unfamiliar terms and, in some rare cases, emails, appeared when using their mobile phone,” the post read. “We are working quickly to resolve this inconvenience.”
SwiftKey asserted that the irregularities did not pose a security threat to its customers. As a precaution, however, the app has disabled its cloud sync service and email address predictions.
The company admitted that the app’s email address predictor could generate another customer’s email address, and other “unfamiliar predictions” could show up as well. Even if it modifies the methods for harvesting typed emails, SwiftKey still has these unfamiliar phrases coming from somewhere.
It’s good that it is “working quickly” to resolve this major inconvenience, which stops the keyboard from performing the basic function that someone would want it to do in the first place. Without it, why even have the app on your phone?
“A few users on Reddit have noticed that it’s been offering strange suggestions — including emails they’ve never seen and foreign language terms they’ve never used,” CSO Online reported.
The source also noted that one user got a brand new language in the deal. “And now, I’m getting someone else’s German predictions,” CSO Online quoted one user, who recently rooted a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, as writing. “I have never typed German in my entire life.”
SwiftKey and Passwords
SwiftKey has said that it doesn’t collect any password or credit card data that may be typed by users. While that seems reassuring, consider that the tool has to recognize that the user-typed string is indeed a password. Otherwise, how can it assert that it is not storing it with other user-generated string data?
Microsoft hasn’t said when the cloud syncing feature could return, but one can only hope it will be working properly when it does come back.