A new iPhone feature is not the huge security concern the internet is making it out to be, even if police departments across the SouthCoast and around the country are warning iOS users about it.

Dighton Police, Rehoboth Police, Somerset Police, Dartmouth Police and UMass Dartmouth Police are among the local law enforcement agencies that have shared a warning calling the iOS 17’s new NameDrop feature a “security concern” that is “defaulted to ON.”

“This feature allows the sharing of your contact info just by bringing your phones close together,” the shared post reads.

Well, yes and no.

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The NameDrop feature, which was released with the iOS 17 update on September 18, does allow you to share contact info with another nearby iPhone – but you have to bring the phones close together WHILE they are both unlocked AND each user must allow for the information to be shared.

It’s a quicker way to save someone’s contact info rather than having to create a new contact and input all of the information. It will only work with new contacts, however, and will not update existing contact info.

You can get around that by deleting an old contact before using NameDrop to get the new information.

While nobody is going to be going around stealing your contact information (and really, why would Apple create such an option if that was the case), you can disable NameDrop if it will make you feel better.

Just go to “Settings,” then “General,” then “AirDrop,” and then switch off “Bringing Devices Together.”

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