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The British Transportation Police are currently investigating their first case of “cyber-flashing”. The crime was reported by a female commuter who received two unsolicited pornographic pictures from a nearby stranger via her iPhone’s Airdrop sharing Function.
Lorraine Crighton-Smith told the police that she felt “violated” the moment she saw two pictures of the cyberflasher’s penis popping up on her iPhone’s screen. The pictures were on the preview mode so she didn’t stand a chance of rejecting them. And neither can she now unsee them.
BTP’s Gill Murray reported that her team never met such case in their entire career, but urged other commuters to report any similar incidents.
The victim was on a high-speed train in south London when the incident happened. She explained that she had left Airdrop on because she used the service to share some photos with another person some time ago. Unfortunately, her iPhone was named “Lorraine’s phone” so the attacker knew that she was a woman.
But the woman’s biggest mistake was to leave AirDrop privacy settings set on everyone to see instead of “Contacts Only.” Nevertheless the sharing function is set by default to “Everyone” on all Apple devices.
She also said that she was “shocked” to see the preview of the first picture on her screen. She recalls that she immediately rejected the file transfer, but the next moment she saw another obscene image coming.
“I felt violated, it was a very unpleasant thing to have forced upon my screen,”
the woman added.
But she also knew that a nearby passenger was sending those pictures because AirDrop function can only work within a 30-foot range. She was concerned that a more vulnerable person may receive the offending images, as well, including a child.
Ms Crighton-Smith immediately contacted BTP because she feared that the attacker may have some hidden motives. She couldn’t believe her own eyes that somebody could do that to another person. She wondered whether there was any kind of gratification involved when sending naked pictures to a perfect stranger.
Unfortunately, because the woman didn’t “Accept” the pictures, the police do not have any data on the device used to send them. BTP acknowledged that they had a similar case via Bluetooth but never before did they see it happen via AirDrop.
A spokesperson for BTP admitted that receiving naked pictures of a man is especially distressing to a woman. But the police recommend victims to keep calm, save the photos, and report the incident to an officer as soon as possible.
Image Source: Zimbio
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