Apple recently released its iOS 13.3 update, which brought the addition of new parental controls that provided the parents with the option to limit who their children can call, text or FaceTime. However, according to a new report by CNBC, the Communication Limits feature does not function as advertised.
It states that there are workarounds to these parental controls that enable kids to text or call any number. This bug is only triggered if contact syncing to iCloud is disabled.
According to the report, if the child receives a message from an unknown number, they will be able to add the number to the address book, and then use it to call, text or FaceTime. Another workaround is by using Siri on an Apple Watch to call a number even if it is not on the contact list.
Apple has acknowledged that the bug is there and that it is working on a fix for this issue to the publication. The fix will be rolled out in an upcoming software update. It states that the bug is only triggered if the device is set up with a non-standard configuration.
The workaround for this bug, that the parents can use for now is to sync the contacts of the Apple devices to iCloud. To activate this they need to head to Settings> Contacts> Default Account> Select iCloud.
To recall, the new parental control additions are a part of the Screen Time feature, which were introduced with iOS 12. To access the parental control settings, you can head to the Communication Limits tab inside of the Screen Time settings.