Police Issues Warning on iOS Update – Spiceworks News and Insights

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Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are warning iPhone users about a new iOS update that affects privacy settings.
The feature called NameDrop allows users to share contact information by holding iPhones together.

Apple’s latest update, the iOS17 for iPhones, has brought in a feature called NameDrop, which has caught the attention of law enforcement agencies in the U.S., resulting in warnings being issued. The new feature is available with iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, allowing faster contact information sharing between Apple devices.

However, improvements to the ease and speed of data sharing have raised concerns among law enforcement professionals. Police departments nationwide are raising warnings, particularly for parents of minors using iPhones, as the feature was being activated automatically with updates.

According to the warnings, with the NameDrop feature on, iPhone users could potentially allow unintended sharing of sensitive information when Apple devices are close to each other, also opening the possibility of malicious use of the capability.

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Warnings so far have been sent out by police departments in Carmi, Illinois; Watertown, Connecticut; Oakland County, Middletown, Ohio; Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania; and Fort Smith, Arkansas, among others.

IT security company Sophos, on the other hand, has rubbished the warning, stating that NameDrop works similarly to the AirDrop feature, where user consent is required before data can be shared. Apple has also issued a statement saying that the NameDrop feature does not work with locked phones, removing such risks.

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