Across the U.S., law enforcement agencies are warning about a new feature on the iPhone that may have privacy and security concerns. In the latest operating system update, iOS 17 introduces the feature “NameDrop.” This extension of the AirDrop feature lets users easily share their contact information with nearby iPhones and Apple Watches.
NameDrop allows users to exchange contact information by bringing their iPhone devices together. According to security experts and the law, the concern is that the feature’s default setting is in the “on” position once users download the update to their phones. Many agencies have posted warnings on Facebook over the weekend urging parents to turn off the feature on their child’s iPhone.
The NameDrop feature requires consent to receive and share the contact information, allowing the user to refuse a request. Two iPhone users can transmit, share, or receive a contact card with their email and phone number by holding the top ends of their smartphones near one another.
Apple says there are safeguards for iPhone’s NameDrop feature
Apple says that its safeguards are in place, making the accidental sharing of information with a random stranger passing by very low because the phones must be held fairly close together to have the feature engage. The two iPhones also have to remain together while sharing.
You can also do NameDrop with your Apple Watch
To instigate a watch-to-watch transfer, you’ll need to open Contacts and tap on your image. Choose Share and hold your watches close together.
According to Wired, the information merely gives Apple’s iOS NameDrop a little viral moment. A great TikTok vid showing strangers at the gym and on a bus stealing all your information — and the video had 2 million views. Wired says that this is impossible — and that you shouldn’t worry about NameDrop being some colossal security risk.
Here’s how NameDrop works:
Remember that all contact sharing will be canceled if the two smartphones are moved apart at any time during the process or if you decide to lock your iPhone using the power button.
Yes, NameCrop is auto-enabled when you update to iOS 17, but consent is required throughout the dropping process. No one walking down the street can bump into you and walk away with any of your information.