iOS 13 Bug Lets Kids Get Around New Parental Controls

Posted on December 13, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 8 Comments

On Wednesday, we reported about the release of iOS 13.3. The new iOS 13 update was released on Tuesday to fix issues with some previous updates, and it also introduced a new feature called Communication Limits for Screen Time.

The new feature is designed to let parents control who their children can communicate on their phone. But as CNBC reports, the new feature is severely flawed.

When a parent sets up Communication Limits on their kid’s phone, they are only allowed to communicate with contacts in their address book. And they aren’t supposed to be able to add new contacts to their address book without a pin from their parent.

Well, as it turns out, Communication Limits has a bug that lets users bypass that. When a kid receives a message from an unknown contact, iOS lets them know that it’s from a restricted contact, but it also shows them an option to add the contact to their address book, which it isn’t supposed to do without the parent’s pin.

The issue only works when contacts aren’t stored on iCloud.

There’s another flaw in the design of the Communication Limits feature whereby users can use Siri on their Apple Watch to text or call any number, bypassing all the Communication Limits.

Apple has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix, but the company didn’t apologise for the mistake.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (8)

8 responses to “iOS 13 Bug Lets Kids Get Around New Parental Controls”

  1. skolvikings

    Does Microsoft or Google issue apologies for their bugs? If not, that's a curious thing to throw into the end of this article.

  2. saturn

    I’ve been so disappointed with the quality of iOS 13, just from a general standpoint. I may not have been impacted by a lot of the major bugs but it is tiring having updates come through this often. Of course, I can’t downgrade to iOS 12 either unless I go into jailbreaking, which I’m not prepared to do. I’m almost convinced that I need to switch to Android when it comes time to replace my phone next year.

    • cayo

      In reply to saturn:

      Oh yes, you should do that. While Android rarely has bugs, they are always fixed quickly. All Android devices are updated quickly and reliably. There is nothing cell providers can do to delay these updates.

      What's even more important, the company behind Android does not track you and has very strong privacy standards.

    • snowdragon

      iOS 13 might be buggy, but at least Apple is trying to keep it updated. I have a iPad 3, iPhone X, and a iWatch 5 - all three play nicely with each other !

    • Jeffsters

      In reply to saturn:

      Why yes update to Android. You won’t have to worry about updates. Life will be great!

  3. simont

    I am starting to wonder who was the worst software testing system. Microsoft or Apple