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Check your child’s iPhone for this new feature: The warning police are issuing to parents

Law enforcement agencies nationwide are warning people, especially parents and guardians, about a privacy update on the iPhone that can allow users to share private information.

According to agencies in multiple states, the new iOS17 update includes a feature that allows users to share contact information and photos by holding two iPhones together.

The feature, called NameDrop, is activated by users who have installed the recent software update to iOS 17.

To note, according to an Apple fact sheet, NameDrop "only works for sending new contact information, not updating an existing contact."

Law enforcement in some states are warning people including parents about a new privacy update that allows users to easily share contact information and photos by simply holding two phones together. The feature, called NameDrop, is activated by users who have installed the recent iOS 17 update.
Law enforcement in some states are warning people including parents about a new privacy update that allows users to easily share contact information and photos by simply holding two phones together. The feature, called NameDrop, is activated by users who have installed the recent iOS 17 update.

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How to turn off NameDrop: the new iPhone feature

When users install the iOS 17 update, NameDrop defaults to ‘ON’.

As a safety precaution, police are warning parents whose children have iPhones that have the new iOS 17 update to be sure to change the setting.

To shut the feature off, follow these directions: Go to Settings, General, AirDrop, Bringing Devices Together and select ‘OFF’.

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Police issue precaution over iOS17 update

The Henry County Sheriff's Office located in Tennessee posted a warning as did Middletown Division of Police in Ohio, the Halifax Police Department in Virginia and the Village of Mount Pleasant Department in Wisconsin.

"This is intended for the public to be aware of as this is something that can easily be mistaken or looked past by elderly, children or other vulnerable individuals," the Village of Mount Pleasant Police Department in Wisconsin posted on its Facebook page. "The intentions of the information provided is to inform the public of this feature and adjust their settings as needed to keep their own or their loved ones contact information safe."

New iOS 17 update features: Include 'NameDrop' AirDrop tool allowing users to swap info easily

Apple: NameDrop is designed to share info only with intended recipients

An Apple spokesperson told USA TODAY NameDrop was designed to share information "with only intended recipients" and users can choose the specific contact information they want to share and information they do not want to share.

According to the spokesperson, no contact information is automatically shared when two devices are brought together without a user taking action.

"If NameDrop appears on a device and the user does not want to share or exchange contact information, they can simply swipe from the bottom of the display, lock their device or move their device away if the connection has not been established," according to Apple.

"Before a user can continue with NameDrop and choose the contact information they want to share, they will need to ensure their device is unlocked. NameDrop does not work with devices that are locked."

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: iOS 17 update: Police warn parents about newest feature on iPhones