Police Departments in the United States Raise Concerns About NameDrop Feature on iPhones and Apple Watches
Several official police department accounts in the United States have taken to social media to express their concerns about a new iPhone and Apple Watch feature called NameDrop. The feature, included in the iOS 17 update, allows users to exchange contact information by bringing their devices close together. However, some police departments have warned that the feature could potentially make users vulnerable to sharing their data with strangers in public places.
According to warnings posted by the Crenshaw County, Alabama police and the Middletown, Ohio police, NameDrop is activated by default and could potentially allow strangers to obtain personal information from iPhone and Apple Watch users. The Crenshaw County police specifically mentioned the concern of minors being targeted and advised users to be cautious and deactivate the feature on their devices.
In response to these warnings, Apple has dismissed the concerns raised by the police departments. They clarified that NameDrop does not work as described and in order to exchange information, the devices must be very close to each other and the user must actively choose to share their information.
Despite the reassurance from Apple, some police departments are continuing to advise users to deactivate the NameDrop feature on their devices for safety. It remains to be seen if Apple will make any further adjustments to the feature in response to the concerns raised by law enforcement officials.