WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Jenna, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, got an unwelcome surprise while taking the Metro into work last Friday morning – a lewd picture sent via the AirDrop function on her iPhone.
As first reported by the DCist, Jenna was on the Yello Line heading to work when an AirDrop request popped up on her phone.
“Got a pop-up notification on my phone that was a, no other way to put it, an [inappropriate picture],” she said, adding that she never found out who sent it. “I at first started to look around to see who it could be and then just sort of froze and was like, don’t. Like, don’t give them any satisfaction. Don’t look around.”
It happens more than you may think.
In New York City last year, lawmakers proposed legislation that would make what happened to Jenna illegal, and a quick Google search yields example after example of similar incidents all over the world.
“This can’t be okay,” Jenna said.
iPhone users can turn off the AirDrop functions on their phones by going to settings, tapping General, and then selecting AirDrop, which will give them the option to turn it off. But as Jenna said, people shouldn’t have to do that. Not to mention, some people purposely don’t.
“I’m a high school administrator and it’s very important that we know when the kids are airdropping things in our school and when they shouldn’t be airdropping things in our school,” explained Kirsten Lundin, who was in town visiting from Texas.
She said she always keeps her phone’s airdrop function turned on, and she added that just like Jenna, she’s also been sent an inappropriate picture from a stranger.
“It was a lewd picture from a random person,” Lundin explained.
Asked for comment, Metro officials sent the following statement:
“As with any incident of harassment or inappropriate activity, we encourage customers to report these to Metro Transit Police immediately. The nature of airdrop technology is such that if set to “everyone” then any person near you can send you an image. For this reason, we encourage the public to change their airdrop permissions to 'off' or 'contacts only.'"