iPhone recently released a new feature called NameDrop which allows iPhone users to add a phone number to their contacts just by simply holding their phone close to another. The feature works by giving the user a notification to add a contact when two devices are in a close proximity to each other. The company released the feature in September along with the release of iOS 17 on Apple devices.
The feature allows users to share contacts with another person using a method similar to AirDrop. Only accessible with iOS 17, users will get a notification to add a contact to their phone by holding the device up to the other phone. Many have claimed this new feature to be simple and convenient, but others have reported the feature to be dangerous.
News about NameDrop has been circulating on social media, and much of it regards the feature as “unsafe” or “risky” to have on your device. Police have been warning the public and iPhone users about the new feature, claiming that it enables strangers to easily obtain another person’s phone number, thus being a huge risk. Parents are especially concerned for the sake of their child’s safety, fearing that strangers can easily obtain contact information about their child through NameDrop. Many have deemed it as unsafe, stating that anyone they meet can find their phone number without permission.
Despite rumors, experts claim that the feature is much safer than people have been assuming, stating that the company has safely prevented the feature from allowing contact information to be stolen from strangers without consent. Mark Bartholomew, a law professor at the University of Buffalo, reinforced this, stating that nonconsensual stealing of contact information shouldn’t be feared by iPhone users.
“To the extent there’s panic here about nonconsensual taking of contact information, I’m not that worried.” — Mark BartholomewFrom the New York Times
Experts are responding to the public’s worries, claiming that the new iOS 17 feature allows the user to approve the request to add a contact when it comes up on the screen, therefore making it nearly impossible for strangers to obtain contact information without consent first. It gives iPhone users the option to Share or Recieve Only. Not only is NameDrop enabled on a phone manually, but users are alerted first if they have the option to share a contact through NameDrop.
Featured image credit: MacRumors