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Apple’s NameDrop Feature Sparks Privacy Warning

Two women shaing info via SmartPhones.

Skift Take

Some law enforcement officials think Apple's NameDrop contact-sharing feature could be abused as it makes it too easy for personal data to be shared.

Apple introduced several new products that are helpful tools for meeting and event planners. One of these tools is the new Apple iPhone NameDrop feature included in the latest iOS 17 iPhone update. With iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, iPhone and Apple Watch users can use NameDrop to share contact information between them quickly.

Law enforcement agencies have responded by issuing a warning about this feature. It warns that it defaults to an on setting and can share contact information by being next to another iPhone.

Security Parameters Built Into NameDrop

Naysayers say for NameDrop to work, the phones have to touch so that Near Field Communication (NFC) exchange will work. Also, the only contact data you share is the one in your contact card. In other words, you ultimately control the information to be shared.

“To cancel, move the two devices away from each other or lock your iPhone before the NameDrop transfer completes,” says the iPhone user guide. In addition, NameDrop only works for sending new contact information, not updating an existing contact.

The bottom line is, as with any technology, security must be a focus. Event professionals must focus on personal data and the information being released at their events.