Apple Changing AirDrop settings in iOS 16.2 update

Image by Jan Kuss from Pixabay

Apple will change the default AirDrop privacy settings with the forthcoming iOS 16.2 update (likely coming December 13th or 14th). With this update the “Everybody” setting once activated will only remain active for 10-minutes before reverting back to “Contacts Only”. Users will no longer be able to set “Everybody” as a default setting. This was first rolled out in China with the iOS 16.1.1 update. Apples is touting this as a security feature “in order to prevent unwanted requests to receive content”. However, it seems rather suspicious not only did Apple rollout this change out in China but timing of said rollout as well. China is country which Apple has very deep ties as with the country having a major customer and manufacturing base. This almost seems as if Apple was trying to proactively appease the Chinese Government as to avoid any possible sanctions in that country.

Apple is clamping down on AirDrop privacy settings for all its users with the iOS 16.2 update, after backlash its recent restrictions were impacting the feature’s use in China. In November, reports circulated that Apple had begun limiting the use of AirDrop in China as the country was facing widespread protests over the Chinese government’s “zero Covid” policy. Protesters had been using AirDrop, which leverages Bluetooth Low Energy and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, to instantly share files with one other while avoiding Chinese censors.

By leaving “Everyone” enabled, protestors and others had been able to easily receive files from anyone else, including those who were not already in their iPhone Contacts.

via TechCrunch