How to turn off NameDrop in iOS 17 on iPhone

Apple’s NameDrop feature, a recent addition to iOS 17, has recently come under scrutiny, with an explosion of posts from police departments across the United States advising adults not to use the feature on their devices due to potential privacy and safety risks. So, this article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to turn off NameDrop on iPhone in iOS 17, along with an explanation of how the feature works and why you might want to consider disabling it.

How to disable NameDrop in iOS 17

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone → Tap General.
  2. Select AirDrop.
  3. Under the section Start Sharing By, toggle off Bringing Devices Together.

    Turn off NameDrop on iPhone

  4. You can also change the settings for who can discover you and share files and contact cards with you via AirDrop. 

Disabling contact sharing through NameDrop in iOS 17 is a straightforward task. However, understanding how the technology works and why there’s a sudden uproar about turning it off might intrigue you. So, here’s the full story.

How NameDrop works on iPhone

It’s important to note that it does not indiscriminately share contact details with every nearby iPhone. 

  • For the data transmission to occur, the top ends of both iPhones must be near each other, utilizing near-field communication (NFC). NFC is designed for short-distance data transmission and requires a specific physical alignment.
  • It’s also crucial to understand that NameDrop requires the device owner’s consent to operate.
  • When NameDrop is triggered through the proximity gesture, the user’s contact information appears on their own screen. This provides both users with two options: Share, allowing them to share their contact information with the other person, and Receive Only, which enables them to receive the other person’s contact card without sharing their own.
  • This feature is designed with a consent-based mechanism to ensure user control over their personal information.
  • While it is true that your contact card could contain sensitive information like your name, email address, phone number, work and home address, picture, and birthday, the reality is that users have complete control over the information they put on their contact cards. 

This means you can decide which details to include in your contact poster, ensuring that only the information you are comfortable sharing is communicated via NameDrop.

As an added assurance, moving the devices away from each other or locking your device completely cancels the transfer process. So casually strolling with your phone in your pocket won’t likely lead to your contact card leaking without your consent.

Why you might consider turning off NameDrop in iOS 17

Several social media posts, like his one from the Jefferson Hills Police Department and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, raised concerns that this feature could allow stalkers and malicious individuals to gain access to other people’s contact details and highlighted that “the feature could allow the sharing of your contact info just by bringing your phones close together.”

There’s also a footnote specifically aimed at parents, seemingly underscoring the notion that children are at a heightened risk from this modus.

While the concern is not entirely unfounded, understanding the feature’s operational mechanics and safety checks can alleviate many of these fears. The safeguards built into NameDrop – such as requiring physical proximity, mutual consent, and user control over shared information – significantly reduce the risk of unintended data sharing.

But if you want to be on the safe side, turning the feature off is pretty straightforward – as shown above.

Wrapping up…

What are your thoughts about the issue? Do you think the concerns are blown up, or are they justified? Share your thoughts below!

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