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Learn about Apple's latest updates to fix a flaw in the parental control feature


Most parents found Apple's parental control feature full of bugs, and they cannot give their children an iPad in light of this flaw that allows children to access and see the worst parts of the Internet
Apple is now working to fix one of the software's worst bugs: a seemingly mysterious bug that would allow children to see the worst parts of the Internet despite settings needed to stop that, Joanna Stern reports for The Wall Street Journal.
The bug goes as follows: Children can circumvent content restrictions by entering a specific string of characters in the Safari browser bar. Stern wrote that security researchers Andreas Jägersberger and Ro Achterberg reported this bug twice in 2021, and both times, they were told it was not a vulnerability. wish, and also notes that this particular bug does not appear to have seen widespread use
Researchers were apparently told repeatedly over three years that this was not a security issue and were referred to Apple's feedback tool for software bugs, but after they contacted Stern to report their findings and their struggles with Apple, the company told them there was a fix. Coming in the next iOS update
The company “confirms that the flaw was a software problem, not a security vulnerability, and should at least be fixed,” Stern writes
The story confirms that Apple's parental control software is still woefully underserved despite having Apple's shiny sheen, but the feature is functionally broken by bugs like the ones Stern mentioned such as not receiving requests for more time, for example, or sometimes blank screen usage chart, These are the basic features that make Screen Time parental control software useful. (Stern notes that Apple has fixed several issues in recent software updates.)
What makes matters worse is that Apple doesn't have much competition, it seems, by design, and it restricted or removed third-party parental control app alternatives to its ecosystem in 2019 after it first introduced Screen Time in iOS 12
At the time, the company said the apps were taking inappropriate advantage of enterprise-focused Mobile Device Management (MDM) profiles that allow control of company-issued iPhones, and Apple blocked the removal of apps that were using the robust management feature, an unreasonable move. move. Given the real risks posed by this type of access
The move sparked controversy, prompting parental control app developers to band together and demand an API for their apps, which would give the company greater control over their access while allowing them to compete with Screen Time
Apple reversed course and allowed parental control apps to use MDM features under certain conditions, and also unblocked some apps. The company finally introduced the application programming interface (API) in 2021 and expanded it in 2022