Apple’s NameDrop has received some bad press, specifically down in the U.S., for something the feature doesn’t even do.
NameDrop allows users to share contact information with another iPhone or Apple Watch when holding the devices together. Apple first revealed the feature in June and made it public with iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1.
When the devices are next to each other, contact cards containing an email and phone number will appear on the other device, with two prompts: ‘Share’ or ‘Recieve Only.’ Share allows users to swap details, while Recieve Only allows one user to share information with the other.
While the feature is already enabled when people update to the latest software, it’s important to note personal details won’t be shared with any random people, given users need to actively provide consent to share the information.
This fact has been ignored by several law enforcement agencies in the U.S. For example, the Watertown Connecticut Police Department published a post on Facebook stating, “anyone can place their phone next to yours (or your child’s phone) and automatically receive their contact information.” Another example is seen through the Schertz Police Department’s Facebook post stating the feature could lead to “unauthorized access or data exposure.”
Users wanting to disable NameDrop can go to Settings> General> AirDrop> turn off ‘Switching Devices Together.’
Image credit: Apple