As part of Apple’s iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, NameDrop was introduced to make sharing contacts easier. Instead of giving someone a phone number to either text or call, you can share your new Contact Poster by putting two iPhones (or Apple Watches) in close proximity.
However, news agencies and police departments didn’t get the memo. They want folks to stay in a constant state of fear of the unknown. Some are stating that strangers can use the feature to steal your contact information. It’s done by just coming within close proximity to you.
IMPORTANT PRIVACY UPDATE: If you have an iPhone and have done the recent iOS 17 update, they have set a new feature called NameDrop defaulted to ON. This feature allows the sharing of your contact info just by bringing your phones close together. To shut this off go to Settings, General, AirDrop, Bringing Devices Together. Change to OFF.”
City of Chester Police Department
This is an image from the Apple Support page for NameDrop. As you can see, when the screen comes up to share a contact via the feature, you will need to explicitly tap “Share” in order to send your info to the other user.
Many police departments on Facebook shared similar posts to Chester on Facebook in an attempt to “get parents engaged with their children”. I feel like this is an insult to most children as the children are the ones teaching their parents how to use the cellphones they’re freaking out about.
Some departments have updated their posts to address what’s actually happens when using NameDrop. However, it’s too late ate that point. Most people won’t go back to the original post to see the update. And now, it’s being spread via local news outlets.
I’ve said this before and I stand by it. If you know someone who you consider technically literate, ask them first before blindly sharing. Sure, they’ll find it annoying, but push anyway. I’m one of those people for my family and I’d be happy to be that guy for you, too.