Apple’s newest update: potential security threat?

“NameDrop,” the newest feature released in Apple’s IOS 17 update, is a new and simple way of sharing contact information. Instead of manually entering someone’s name, number and address, NameDrop does it for you. To use NameDrop, hold your phone screen on top of another person’s iPhone, and then the devices should vibrate, signaling the action has been completed. Once completed, a prompt will appear asking users to confirm that they want to share and receive information. However, due to the ease of being able to obtain information, law enforcement and multiple police departments across the country warn users of the potential threats that can occur. 

In a recent interview with CBS News Philadelphia, Alex Crowetz, an employee at InfoStream Inc., warns parents of a particular threat. “If a stranger walks by your child and gets their contact information,” Crowetz said, “They have their email and we’ve seen how the bad guys, the pedophiles, and whatnot take advantage of email, phone number for texting — they really take advantage of that.” 

On November 27th, New York’s Orange County Sheriff’s office advised parents to be cautious and to ask their children to turn the feature off. The police issued a security warning, stating, “The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, along with our other Law Enforcement partners, continue to stress the importance of keeping your information private.” 

To disable NameDrop, go to the iPhone’s settings app, click on the “General” tab, and then proceed to click on “Airdrop”. Then change the “Bringing Devices Together” button to off. After following these instructions, NameDrop will be completely disabled. 

“I got a text from my Mom telling me to shut it off yesterday,” PV junior Penny White said. “When I first installed the update, I thought NameDrop was cool, but I see now that it’s probably not a safe idea to keep it turned on. Someone I don’t even know could get my information.” 

With Apple’s booming success, many teenagers own an Apple iPhone. According to Piper Sandler, an investment banker, around 90% of teenagers own an iPhone. However, according to PhoneArena, the amount of phones that are running on IOS 17 is “surprisingly low.” 

“I didn’t even know there was an update. The only reason I’m hearing about it now is because of this NameDrop issue. I don’t plan on downloading it either.” junior Alli Morano said. 

Apple is yet to release a statement regarding the recent warnings about the new feature.