NameDrop in iOS 17 Is Not a Privacy Concern: How To Use It

One of the prominent new features in iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 is NameDrop, which makes it easy to exchange contact information with someone. Simply putting your iPhone or Apple Watch next to theirs allows you to receive their contact card and share yours if desired.

On Facebook, some police departments have posted warnings about NameDrop, insinuating that it is a privacy concern. But NameDrop requires the devices to be nearly touching—so it’s implausible that the feature could be triggered inadvertently. Plus, you must unlock your iPhone and tap a button to share your contact information. Locking your iPhone or moving your iPhone out of range cancels the transfer.

While there’s no harm in turning NameDrop off by default (other than losing access to it), the feature eliminates the pain of sharing contact information via AirDrop, Messages, or Mail. Important to note, however: NameDrop only supports sending new contact information, not updating an existing contact. And both users must have an iPhone running iOS 17.1 or an Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 7 or later, or second-generation Apple Watch SE running watchOS 10.1.

To share from an iPhone, hold your unlocked iPhone close (almost touching) to the top of the other person’s iPhone or Apple Watch. When NameDrop appears on both screens, tap Share to exchange contact information or Receive Only to get their information without sending yours.

To share from an Apple Watch, open the Contacts app, tap your picture in the upper-right corner, tap Share, and then put your watch close to the other person’s Apple Watch. (Apple’s animation shows the watches being positioned face-to-face.) NameDrop will appear on both screens; tap Share to exchange contact information. (There is not an option to Receive Only on the Apple Watch.)

With the privacy concerns about NameDrop entirely overblown, the next time you want to exchange contact information, give the feature a try.