Kootenai County Sheriff's Office warns iPhone users of new update | Spokane News

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho – The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), among hundreds of other law enforcement agencies, has issued a privacy warning regarding the new iPhone software update .

“PARENTS: Remember to change these settings on your child’s phone to keep them safe too,” KCSO said in a Facebook post.

The new update includes a NameDrop feature, similar to the AirDrop feature. You hold two iPhones together, both updated to iOS 17.1.1, and within a second a screen appears prompting you to share your contact information with the other user.

Your iPhone must be unlocked to do this, and everything from your name to your birthday to your home address will be shared.

“Is this a feature that will be useful and actually used on a daily basis? If not, it may be best to turn it off for now,” said Logan Hickle, communications manager for the Better Business Bureau.

However, other first responders aren't as worried about the new update.

“I didn't feel like it presented the safety risk that a lot of people were saying,” Benton County Fire District No. 1 manager Jenna Kochenauer said after studying the new technology.

This new feature is less invasive than the AirDrop feature, according to Kochenauer.

“This new update allows people to send you information but your phones actually need to be touchscreen. Whereas without that touch feature, anyone within 30 feet of you can send messages and you don’t necessarily know who it is,” Kochenauer said.

Although cybersecurity experts say the NameDrop feature can make it easier for children and the elderly to share personal information with bad actors.

If you want to disable this new feature, find the settings app on your Apple iPhone, scroll down until you see the general button, click on it, then click on AirDrop, and where it says Get started sharing by, turn it off.

“You need to take a look at what is included in this update. There are many tech blogs that go over each individual update and dig deeper into what is included in that update,” Hickle said.

Related Articles

Back to top button