A London woman has reported being the victim of “cyber-flashing” after receiving two photos of a man’s genitals on her iPhone via AirDrop.
“I had AirDrop switched on because I had been using it previously to send photos to another iPhone user — and a picture appeared on the screen of a man’s penis, which I was quite shocked by,” the 34-year-old victim told the BBC. “I declined the image, instinctively, and another image appeared, at which [point] I realised someone nearby must be sending them, and that concerned me.”
Lorraine Crighton-Smith reported the incident to the British Transport Police. Because she declined both images, however, the police have no evidence to work from and are therefore classing the investigation as “intelligence.”
Transport Police superintendent Gill Murray said the use of AirDrop to send obscene pictures was “new to us.”
“Receiving an indecent image from someone you don’t know must be very distressing and something we would take very seriously. If it happens to you, our advice would be to remain calm, retain the image and report the matter to police as soon as possible,” Murray noted.
It’s a good reminder of why users should turn off AirDrop when they’re not using it — or at least ensure that the default “contacts only” setting is activated so only people you know can see your availability.