In iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, Apple introduced the NameDrop feature as a new way to share contact information. Being an extension of AirDrop, NameDrop allows iPhone users to quickly share contact information simply by placing a compatible device on top of the other: share from iPhone to iPhone and iPhone to Apple Watch or vice versa.
However, the feature has gained a lot of traction on social media. Some users including the local Sheriff’s offices in the United States have raised security concerns related to NameDrop claiming that anyone can steal their contact information by tapping their iPhones.
Luckily, this is not the case and they have been misinformed about how the feature works.
Here is why there is no need to turn off NameDrop, it is not a security risk
NameDrop is available on iPhones running iOS 17.1 or later, and Apple Watch Ultra, Ultra 2, Series 7 and later, and Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) running on watchOS 10.1 or later.
Here is how NameDrop works
The following safeguards are present in iOS 17.1 or later to prevent misuse of the feature, they are as follows:
- For the feature to share information, both iPhones have to be unlocked and placed very close. Typically users have to place the display of one iPhone on top of the other to trigger data transfer.
- If sharing data from an iPhone to an Apple Watch or vice versa, the iPhone must be unlocked and placed over the Apple Watch’s display.
- If one iPhone is locked, the feature does not share information.
- When contact posters are shared between devices, a permission message appears seeking users permission to ask if they want to share info and what information they want to share.
- If a user declines to receive or share, their information is not sent out.
You know it requires consent, right?https://t.co/mHrlsEAPSr
— Troy LaShomb (@tmlashomb) November 28, 2023
How to turn on and off NameDrop
- Although NameDrop is enabled by default, you can turn it off via Settings app > General > AirDrop > Bringing Devices Together.
In conclusion, there is no need to turn off NameDrop over security risks because there are none. However, if you are annoyed by the constant animations or vibrations triggered by two iPhones or Apple Watch nearby, you should turn it off.