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Lopez: Is the new iOS NameDrop feature really that safe?

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Collegian | Madelyn Hendricks

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

New technological advancements are being made every day, but whether they are necessary or unnecessary is truly up to you. One of the newest advancements catching eyes everywhere is the newest iOS 17 feature: NameDrop.

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If you avoid updating your phone until the absolute last moment or you simply don’t have an iPhone, the concept of NameDrop is similar to AirDrop: You can hold your phone close to another person’s and share contact information with just a few taps. However, the main concern women have with the new NameDrop feature is that it is much more difficult to reject sharing contact information with someone they do not know or trust.

As a woman, I totally understand the potential of these dangers, especially if you have to take the time to Google how to turn it off before you go out. What makes this technology so scary is that your contact information can’t be shared without consent from both people and both phones being unlocked.

The concept of NameDrop takes me back to high school, when AirDropping something to every single person possible was fun. I was one of the people who didn’t realize it was possible to AirDrop things until I turned my sharing to contacts only. But even after I made that choice, I felt like I was missing out on all the fun. This seems similar to what could happen with NameDrop because, despite the fact that two phones have to be close to one another to work, what’s to say someone who gave me an excuse to unlock my phone wouldn’t be able to take my information easily because I forgot to turn off the NameDrop feature?

This is something that, according to Cosmopolitan, shouldn’t be an issue, but I can’t help but wonder if it still would be. This innovative feature has successfully created a new way for people to easily obtain information that we otherwise might not want to be shared. It also creates an awkward situation wherein women are forced to make the decision of whether they should share their information with someone they just met while in front of them.

In terms of safety, this feature could use some rethinking. With just a phone number, someone could gain access to the location of your phone, which opens up the possibility of being stalked or worse. NameDrop having the ability to accidentally share personal contact information might have been something Apple didn’t foresee as being an issue; however, it is still something that can happen, which means this new feature puts everyone with an iPhone at risk.

NameDrop was a good idea in theory — it gives Apple users the opportunity to effortlessly share contact information with one another. And because it is so similar to AirDrop, Apple may have thought NameDrop would be the next best step. But truthfully, I still have more questions about why this was developed and how they plan on keeping our information safe.

Reach Dominique Lopez at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.

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About the Contributor
Dominique Lopez, Opinion Director

Dominique Lopez is a third-year journalism student minoring in women’s studies and is currently the opinion director for The Collegian.

Lopez is originally from Alamosa, Colorado, and moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University. While in Fort Collins, Lopez has spent her time working for The Collegian and is a swim instructor and front desk associate at Splash Swim School.

When Lopez isn’t working or attending classes, you can find her at home reading a good book, stress baking in her kitchen or binge-watching her favorite TV shows.

She chose journalism as her field of study in the hopes that it would bring her closer to the community and provide her with the opportunity to write about what is really affecting her in that moment. Some topics she is passionate about are social justice, gender studies and finding ways to honor her community and origins through her education.

As the opinion director, Lopez hopes to inspire new writers to be able to find their true passions in writing, as well as diversify the topics that are written about in The Collegian’s opinion section and iscuss thoughts on important issues that impact the students at Colorado State University.

Lopez is excited to pursue this new year of journalism and is eager to see what the year will bring, especially as she continues to meet new journalists pursing topics they are passionate about.

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