Online dispute rises over police warnings after iOS 17.1 software update

Online dispute rises over police warnings after iOS 17.1 software update
A still image frame from the Apple NameDrop tutorial in the “Tips” app found on any iPhone. (Apple Tips)

Days after the iPhone iOS 17.1 software upgrade, police departments around the United States implied on social media that a built-in feature would be hazardous.

The assertion has been refuted in print by other websites, including Wired and USA Today. To begin with, Apple first revealed the feature at its 2023 developer conference in June.

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 (Edit: Phones touching, as mentioned in the comments.) To shut this off go to Settings, General, AirDrop, Bringing Devices Together. Change to OFF.

PARENTS: Don’t forget to change these settings after the update on your children’s phones, also, to help keep them safe as well!

Thank you to the Dewey Police Department for providing this information. 🕵️‍♂️

NameDrop is the feature, which was introduced as an expansion of AirDrop at the conference. NameDrop was enabled by default on all upgraded devices—including Apple Watches running the latest 10.1 software—as a result of the recent iOS update.

Holding the tops of two gadgets near to one another enables the feature to function. The majority of the social media posts omitted to discuss what occurs next.

When an iPhone user activates NameDrop, they will be presented with the choice to either “share” or “receive only” their contact information. Additionally, customers have the option to stop using the function and choose not to use either of those alternatives.

In the end, NameDrop requires action from the iPhone user in order to be fulfilled.

A user will need to ensure their device is unlocked before they can continue with NameDrop and choose the contact information they want to share, an Apple representative told USA Today. Locked devices cannot be used with NameDrop.

Police updated some of their social media posts with new details and acknowledged that their concerns stemmed from safety measures.

It is possible to deactivate the feature, as numerous commentators have reported doing. To disable the feature, go to “General Settings” and then “AirDrop.” There, you may uncheck the box next to “Bringing Devices Together.”

Online dispute rises over police warnings after iOS 17.1 software update
AirDrop settings on an Apple iPhone, showing the NameDrop feature activated.

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