According to a Forbes report, the new tech to fear is iOS 17’s NameDrop feature. This allows users to easily share contact information through their iPhone’s NFC tool and multiple police departments across the country have warned their communities of its potential danger.
Law enforcement officers admit they basically search whatever devices they want to at the border
Per the Forbes article, police stations in California, Illinois, and many more have issued the same warning on Facebook that the NameDrop feature on iPhones can “share contact information by being next to another iPhone”— with users unaware of the exchange happening. The postings on Facebook all share the same template and also warn parents in particular to turn off the “Bringing devices together” option on AirDrop for their children.
Ominous for no reason
However, the truth is that this warning is a bit misinformed on how the feature actually works.
NameDrop is getting a bad rap
For starters, despite the NameDrop feature being a default opt-out feature, it will not just share your contact to any phone in the vicinity. In fact, to use NameDrop with another person, you almost have to physically touch both phones with each other and in the right position so that NFC can work (you can also toggle NFC on or off in the iPhone’s general settings). Additionally, you control the information you share; what’s exchanged is only what you put down on your contact card.
That alone should quell any fears that any bad actors may try to steal your (or your children’s) personal information. Plus, if you want to just turn it off for some peace of mind, you can follow the same directions from the Facebook postings by going to Settings > General > AirDrop > Bringing Devices Together to toggle that switch off.
The iOS 17 Name Drop feature is not as big of a security concern as the police make it out to be.