US police warn of potential privacy issues with iOS 17 NameDrop feature

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US police warn of potential privacy issues with iOS 17 NameDrop feature

Police authorities in the United States have warned about the possible privacy risk of the NameDrop function included in Apple smartphones with iOS 17, as it may share users’ personal information with others without recognize iPhone, automatically and without permission. .

In June, Apple launched the latest iteration of its operating system, iOS 17, which includes various new features, such as customization options for contacts or even a real-time message transcription function.

In this framework, the company led by Tim Cook presented the NameDrop function, a feature that allows users to join two devices (two iPhones or an iPhone and an Apple Watch) to download the contact data -NameDrop- to another device by proximity, without the need for a verbal exchange on the phone or email.

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However, various police authorities in the United States have warned about possible security problems that NameDrop could cause, as it is a function that can “share contact information while standing next to another iPhone” without the user’s knowledge.

It was reported by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (California), and the police departments of Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, among others, through several posts shared on Facebook, collected by Forbes.

In these posts, law enforcement authorities have explained to users that when the iOS 17 update is completed on their iPhones, the NameDrop feature is set to be enabled by default.

In this sense, since it is activated by default, if another device compatible with this function is brought close to the user’s iPhone, personal contact information can be shared without the user’s knowledge.

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“We know you’re allowed to share it and you can opt out but a lot of people don’t check their settings. This particular setting is activated by default instead of having to choose to activate it,” said the police in publications. In addition, they also remember that, in the same section of the NameDrop function, there is a configuration to limit who can receive AirDrop.

For all these reasons, police authorities recommend deactivating the NameDrop function to prevent it from working by default. To do this, they have developed that users need to change the configuration of AirDrop settings. Finally, they also advise changing these settings on iPhones of minors as a protective measure.

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