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Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post.


A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and others are frequently shared by kids through various social channels.
“These are not rocket science, backdoor, dark web sort of hacks,” says Chris McKenna, founder of the Internet safety group Protect Young Eyes. “It blows me away that Apple hasn’t thought through the fact that a persistent middle school boy or girl can bang around and find them.”
Although Apple has been making tweaks and improvements to Screen Time since its launch, some of the loopholes kids have been using to work around Screen Time limits have gone unpatched. And while Apple declined to address specific issues related to Screen Time, the company noted that it's committed to improving the feature.
Apple spokeswoman Michele Wyman, in an emailed statement, said the company is “committed to providing our users with powerful tools to manage their iOS devices and are always working to make them even better.” Wyman did not comment on specific bugs and workarounds in Screen Time or the speed with which Apple addresses them.
Apple rolled out Screen Time last year as part of iOS 12, and brought it to the Mac just last week with the release of macOS Catalina.

Top Rated Comments

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4 weeks ago
I know I'll get bashed by parents of young children for saying this, but what happened to actually monitoring what kids are doing instead of expecting Apple to put a time limit on the electronic babysitter?
Rating: 36 Votes
4 weeks ago
Kids would be more effective than many QA engineers if it weren't for pesky labor laws. ?
Rating: 21 Votes
4 weeks ago
It's not rocket surgery... If your kid is abusing the freedom... take the device away!
Rating: 21 Votes
4 weeks ago


Kids will be kids.

If only parents would...parent.
Rating: 16 Votes
4 weeks ago
Kids who are clever enough to circumvent these restrictions shouldn't have them enforced.
Rating: 12 Votes
4 weeks ago
Where there is a will, there’s away. ?
Rating: 11 Votes
4 weeks ago


Clearly none of you people have kids....

There are competing apps that work far better than screentime, unfortunately they require an admin profile be installed on the device.

Screentime is legitimately the worst stock Apple app. (flamesuit on!) It's horrible and doesn't do what it's designed to do.

For instance, you can set Games to 1 hour... but it doesn't work for Fortnite, which is all the kids play. You look at the device and you're like "how did you play 9 hours of Fortnite today??"

I know... "take away the phone"... but then you can't call them or track them on the bus or see where they're driving, etc.

How about giving kids flip phones until they are older? Why do they need an iPhone?
Rating: 11 Votes
4 weeks ago
People complain about everything these days. I'm more concerned about loopholes to exploit system security. So what if a kid is discovering ways around Screen Time. Desired? No. Will it impact device security? Unlikely. Will the device explode? No. Will it crash? No. Is the device going to suddenly change it's language to Russian or Chinese and start sharing data with those countries? No. Is this an inconvenience that prevents you from earning an income, getting somewhere that requires a GPS, or preventing you from doing important matters such as call, text, make reminders, or calendar entries? No.
Rating: 10 Votes
4 weeks ago
Well duh... They're kids. They have all the time in the world to figure out these loopholes. My friends and I used to mess around with the school computers all the time when we were done with our classwork.
Rating: 9 Votes
4 weeks ago
Clearly none of you people have kids....

There are competing apps that work far better than screentime, unfortunately they require an admin profile be installed on the device.

Screentime is legitimately the worst stock Apple app. (flamesuit on!) It's horrible and doesn't do what it's designed to do.

For instance, you can set Games to 1 hour... but it doesn't work for Fortnite, which is all the kids play. You look at the device and you're like "how did you play 9 hours of Fortnite today??"

I know... "take away the phone"... but then you can't call them or track them on the bus or see where they're driving, etc.
Rating: 8 Votes

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