iOS 13.3 Bug Allows Children to Bypass Parental Controls, Apple Working on Fix


iOS 13.3 was released a few days ago, and it brought along new parental controls to provide additional communication limits to parents to let them choose who their children can call, message, or FaceTime. The new feature bans kids from calling or texting any number that isn’t saved to their contacts list. However, a new report now details that these controls don’t exactly work the way they should. There are workarounds to these parental controls that enable kids to text or call any number. Fortunately, Apple has confirmed that it is working on a fix for this problem, and it will be rolled out in an upcoming software update.

A new report by CNBC says that the Communication Limits feature, rolled out with iOS 13.3, does not function as advertised, if the contacts are not saved to iCloud by default. If the child receives a message from an unknown number, they are able to add the number to the address book, and then use it to call, FaceTime, or text. Furthermore, they are also able to call or text any number by triggering Siri on an Apple Watch, regardless if the number is on the contact list or not.

Apple acknowledged the bug and told the publication, “This issue only occurs on devices set up with a non-standard configuration, and a workaround is available. We’re working on a complete fix and will release it in an upcoming software update.”

The workaround for now is syncing your contacts to iCloud. Head to Settings> Contacts> Default Account> Select iCloud. The new parental control additions are a part of the Screen Time feature that was introduced with the release of iOS 12 last year. The changes can be accessed through the Communication Limits section from the Screen Time settings.

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Tasneem Akolawala
When not expelling tech wisdom, Tasneem feeds on good stories that strike on all those emotional chords. She loves road trips, a good laugh, and interesting people. She binges on movies, sitcoms, food, books, and DIY videos.

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