Law enforcement agencies issue warnings after latest Apple iOS release

Law enforcement agencies issue warnings after latest Apple iOS release

NameDrop feature allows Apple users with iOS17 to quickly share contact information

Law enforcement agencies across the United States are cautioning iPhone users about a newly introduced feature called NameDrop, which comes with the latest software update. Apple’s website explains that with iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, users can utilize NameDrop to swiftly exchange contact information with nearby iPhones or Apple Watches. This functionality, set to ‘ON’ by default in the iOS 17 update, has prompted concerns among police departments, such as Longwood Police Department in Florida, urging parents to review their children’s phone settings due to the potential inadvertent sharing of contact information and photos.

Several law enforcement entities, including the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Carmi, Illinois; Middletown, Ohio; Watertown, Connecticut; Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania; and Fort Smith, Arkansas, have issued warnings regarding NameDrop. Despite these alerts, a digital security specialist from IT security company Sophos dismissed the concerns as “hysteria” and “nonsense” in an interview with The Washington Post.

The NameDrop feature operates similarly to AirDrop, requiring close proximity and consent for information sharing. While some emphasize the importance of awareness, others believe the warnings are unwarranted. Fox News Digital attempted to obtain a comment from Apple, but the company has not responded.

Users concerned about privacy can disable NameDrop by accessing settings, navigating to general, selecting AirDrop, and toggling off the green button next to “start sharing by bringing devices together.” The button should turn gray to indicate deactivation.