The concept of flashing someone – you know, exposing your naughty bits – has been around since classical times yet even this ancient form of exhibitionism isn’t immune to technological modernization.
The British Transport Police are investigating what’s being called the first-ever reported case of cyber flashing. As the story goes, 34-year-old iPhone user Lorraine Crighton-Smith received a pair of sexually explicit images during a recent train ride in South London.
Crighton-Smith told the BBC that she had the AirDrop feature enabled since she had previously been using it to share photos with another iPhone user. That’s when she received the first offending photo showing a man’s exposed genitalia.
The view from the preview was enough for her to decline the incoming message; soon after, another picture followed which is when she realized it must be somebody on the train nearby sending them. Despite reporting the incident to authorities as soon as possible, there was little they could do because she didn’t accept the incoming messages.
AirDrop works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, creating a short-range connection to other iDevices for the purpose of sharing documents or media. The feature defaults to “contacts only” meaning only those in your contact list can see you. The option exists to open the feature up to everyone which can be used to connect to someone not in your contact list. That appears to be what happened here; Crighton-Smith made her device discoverable to everyone at an earlier time and forgot to revert back to contacts only.
Image courtesy iMore