SwiftKey has suspended its cloud-sync service and turned off email address predictions. The decision comes after a number of problems over the last week. The Microsoft-owned smart keyboard application has been misbehaving plenty lately. Until the problems can be resolved, the company decided to remove the issue to work on a fix.
The decision to shutter some services comes after the app started suggesting email addresses to strangers. Just last week a number of users complained that the app was giving their email to strangers they've never met. As well as giving out email address, the app is also sending phone number information to strangers.
Why the service is so buggy at the moment is a mystery. The app is a hugely popular alternative to Android and iOS. Microsoft recognized the popularity of the third-party keyboard and purchased SwiftKey for $250 million earlier this year.
SwiftKey is attributing the problems to a glitch in the sync service. The normal function of the service is to learn a user's details on one app and sync it across devices. However, it seems that the sync is actually sending details to other users devices instead.
This of course represents a privacy and security disaster for the company. SwiftKey says the problem is not widespread, but decided to remove the problematic services nonetheless.
“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. We are working quickly to resolve this inconvenience,” the company said.
“While this did not pose a security issue for our customers, we have turned off the cloud sync service and have updated our applications to remove email address predictions. During this time, it will not be possible to back up your SwiftKey language model.”