“Police are investigating a ‘new’ crime of cyberflashing after a commuter received an indecent image on her phone as she travelled to work,” Sarah Bell reports for BBC News. “The victim received two pictures of an unknown man’s penis on her phone via Apple’s Airdrop sharing function.”
“Lorraine Crighton-Smith, 34, said she felt ‘violated’ and reported it to the British Transport Police (BTP),” Bell reports. “In other words, to decide that she didn’t want to see a picture of someone’s flashed penis, she had to look at that very picture first.”
“The BTP has investigated the incident, but said because Ms Crighton-Smith did not ‘accept’ the photograph there was no technological evidence for them to work with and recorded it as intelligence,” Bell reports. “Supt Gill Murray said the force had dealt with cases involving Bluetooth but an incident via Airdrop was ‘new to us.'”
Read more in the full article here.
“She had Apple’s handy AirDrop service turned on, set to be accessible to everyone,” Paul Ducklin reports for, in this case, the ironically-named Naked Security (Spohos).
“What she hadn’t taken into account is that when someone tries to AirDrop you a photo, your iPhone requests permission by popping up a miniature version of the image and asking you to ‘[Decline’ or ‘Accept,'” Ducklin reports. “In other words, to decide that she didn’t want to see a picture of someone’s flashed penis, she had to look at that very picture first.”
Ducklin reports, “To reduce the chance of a creep on your bus or train AirDropping sleazy images on your iPhone, and to avoid standing out unnecessarily amongst your commuter crowd, here’s what you can do.”
1. Change the name of your iPhone to something neutral.
2. Make sure AirDrop is off if you aren’t using it.
3. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi if you aren’t using them (Like AirDrop, you can turn them on and off in the Control Center).
More details and screenshots here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple should reconsider how Airdrop presents images for sharing via AirDrop. Until a safer method is devised, parents can and should use iOS’ Parental Controls to restrict use of AirDrop on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. More info a href=”https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304″ target=”_new”>here.