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IOS Iphone Software Apple Technology

Apple Planning New, 'Robust' Parental Controls To Help Protect Children, Teens (arstechnica.com) 61

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: An open letter to Apple from some investors sparked the tech giant to respond by promising new software tools for parents to restrict and monitor their kids' smartphone use. In a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple states it has plans to create new software features that will make its current parental controls on iPhone and other devices "even more robust." "We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them," Apple said in its statement to The Wall Street Journal. "We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids."

Apple didn't provide details on its planned, improved parental control features, but it did point back to the controls its software has had in place since 2008. The Settings app on every iPhone has a parental control section that allows adults to restrict website access, control in-app purchases, and install or delete apps, among other things. But those existing settings haven't been enough to quell the worries of the investors who wrote an open letter to Apple last week, expressing concern about the effect smartphones can have on kids who are glued to those devices.

Apple Planning New, 'Robust' Parental Controls To Help Protect Children, Teens

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  • Cyborgs (Score:3, Funny)

    by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @05:29PM (#55896701) Homepage Journal
    Looking at this the wrong way. Those children are proto-cyborgs and those smartphones are prosthesis.
  • by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @05:33PM (#55896713)

    I'm not a parent, and when I was growing up things such as iphones didn't exist, so I have to ask..

    Why seek a technical solution to the problem? Why not simply take the device away from the child after x time elapses?

    • Because there is some functionality that I would really like my child to have always available.

      Some things I want to limit more than others. Summer I want to encourage. Tools to help me do that as a parent are valuable.

    • "Why seek a technical solution to the problem? Why not simply take the device away from the child after x time elapses?"

      Because they are cheap nannies and so the parent can do their thing instead.
      Additionally they always know where the brats are.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Because a parent can only take so much of a child not calling home and using the lack of a cell phone as an excuse when he doesn't come straight home from school and leaves parents worried sick about him, before they decide to take the easier path.

      Oh, you can try grounding them.... but all they'll do then is make your life a living hell as they constantly bitch about being bored, and start breaking shit they shouldn't be touching in the first place (although not actually maliciously) just because they

    • by tsqr ( 808554 )

      I'm not a parent, and when I was growing up things such as iphones didn't exist, so I have to ask..

      Why seek a technical solution to the problem? Why not simply take the device away from the child after x time elapses?

      These two snippets from TFA jumped out at me:

      94% of parents have taken some action to manage their child’s technology use.

      According to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey of over 3,500 U.S. parents, 58% say they worry about the influence of social media on their child’s physical and mental health, 48% say that regulating their child’s screen time is a “constant battle,” and 58% say they feel like their child is “attached” to their phone or tablet.

    • Because I bought them a phone so they would have a phone to contact me. It was a gift and I want them to enjoy it as a full-fledged smart device when they're allowed, but I'd like it still be a phone when they're not.
      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

        Yes, I don't get the whining about "nanny state" technology when it's an optional tool to add to the tools parents have to raise their children in the modern age.

        Moreover, as a libertarian, this is EXACTLY how libertarianism is supposed to work... not the government intervening, but the stockholders making a request that some optional tool be made available to parents. Then you, as a consumer, can complain that $2 out of the $1000 you're paying for your phone went to create these controls you won't ever u

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "Why seek a technical solution to the problem?"
      The problem is the digital files that exist on a computer and cloud that are all interesting to law enforcement globally.
      Checksums to every file discovered, recovered, found, investigated, copied over by law enforcement around the world.
      Thats great to scan the cloud, ISP, web sites and free net services for the same files but what about the files only a users OS can see? The direct-attached storage, HD only and OS and files the user can see.
      If only so
    • Every "take the device away after X time" will be a new battle of wills and of wits and a new opportunity for the child to take umbrage if the parent succeeds.

      If the boundaries are clearly set before the device is given, and if as many of those boundaries as possible can be enforced consistently without the parent's repeated intervention, it reduces household friction and allows family interactions to focus on more positive things.

      Plus, helicopter parenting is harmful, and there ought to be plenty of times

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      Why not simply take the device away from the child after x time elapses?

      The old "take the toy away, give them a textbook to do homework" model doesn't work with computers.

      Unlike a toy, computers have many, many abilities. By taking away the device, you may take away the unapproved toy, but also approved things you want your child to be doing -- reading books, news, maybe even textbooks, educational programming, or using tools to create art and music, and so on.

      So, parental controls can be used to to limit functionality for reading, instead of gaming, which seems perfectly valid

    • Because the world is populated by absolutely helpless idiots.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why not? What's wrong with technical solutions? Why do you equate "technical" with "bad"?

    • by Logger ( 9214 )

      I use the parental controls to limit my kids usage of Xbox, but there is no equivalent for my kids' iDevice usage.

      There is some strange psychological difference that goes on. When the Xbox tells them their time is up, they shrug and turn it off. If instead they are watching an iDevice and I tell them to stop, they lose their ever f'ing minds.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I use the parental controls to limit my kids usage of Xbox, but there is no equivalent for my kids' iDevice usage.

        There is some strange psychological difference that goes on. When the Xbox tells them their time is up, they shrug and turn it off. If instead they are watching an iDevice and I tell them to stop, they lose their ever f'ing minds.

        Well, parental controls exists on iOS, but they're rather crude. (And they're better than Android, even, but still crude). The thing with Xbox is it's easy - after X mi

    • I'm not a parent, and when I was growing up things such as iphones didn't exist, so I have to ask..

      Why seek a technical solution to the problem? Why not simply take the device away from the child after x time elapses?

      Because that is the device you want them to contact you with if something is up? Or would you buy two phones, one to play with for 30 minutes a day, and one dumb phone without even Snake! on it?

      Why is it that some people here on Slashdot are so averse to technology that they will do anything to find an "easy" but more expensive and/or complicated solution not to use it? Neo-Luddites, why don't you go to some nice C64 focused chat site, where you will never be forced to hear about technology too advanced for

  • by ArtemaOne ( 1300025 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @05:43PM (#55896773)

    My daughter's 5S just doesn't have a credit card attached and the result is a pretty awesome lockdown. I don't see what they could improve.

  • Seems unlikely... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StevenMaurer ( 115071 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @06:02PM (#55896895) Homepage

    Given the disparity of tech-savvy between generations, it seems more likely that this technology will result in the kids locking out the parents, rather than the reverse.

  • I have nothing against parental controls, except from that standpoint that they are largely ineffectual since MOST kids will know more about technology than the parents (not true obv of most Slashdot parents).

    However I think a generic "device not usable for X hours a day" is a super bad idea. Why would you give a kid a fantastic way to communicate easily and then disable it ever? if I had kids I would try to make sure they had smartphones asap, both so I could track them (yes I would absolutely track the

    • > Why would you give a kid a fantastic way to communicate easily and then disable it ever?

      Because it tends not to be used for effective communication. "Like" on a Facebook page is not effective. Playing "Pokemon Go" is not visiting a neighborhood and experiencing life it. The ability to write or read a thoughtful message is profoundly hindered by cell phones with their small screens and resulting shortened sentence structure, especially when the screen is cluttered with extraneous graphics.

    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

      But is that how it works?

      It would be better to limit access to social media to X hours a day (or games or whatever). Maybe restrict network usage to that time, but always have voice available.

  • by jeti ( 105266 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @06:31PM (#55897057) Homepage
    It would be nice if, with the improved controls, they would allow to publish nude content instead of forcing US prudery on the rest of the world.
    • It would be nice if, with the improved controls, they would allow to publish nude content instead of forcing US prudery on the rest of the world.

      Are you actually claiming there's no nudity on Apple's version of Game of Thrones? Wanna bet?

  • by dunnomattic ( 2590531 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @06:59PM (#55897207)

    I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

    I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

    I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

    The one thing I am adamant about is them not having the internet in their pockets. The thought of them plowing through 4chan or sending/receiving nude texts...or unwittimgly talking to paedophiles...nightmares.

    Kids are supposed to disobey and get into trouble. But for Pete'ssake make them work for it! Don't hand them all the gory details on an iPlatter in never-ending full motion HD! There's no effort to type in a search term or click a link compared to procuring and hiding a skin mag. Even in the early internet days on a desktop, you still had a fair risk of getting caught since you were in the living room in plain view!

    The whole sexting thing is pretty much a given...if the first MMS ever wasn't someone's ass, then the 2nd or 3rd probably was. It was inevitable from there. And then to blindly whitelist all senders by default...terribly risky to give to a child.

    And don't get me started on addiction. I don't do Facebook, and my wife gave it up 8 years ago. She doesn't want a smartphone after breaking 3 of them in a year back in 2014. I have 1, but pretty much use it for email and news feeds only.

    I love my kids, and they tell me I'm the best Dad ever. They still ask every few months about iPhones, even though I've largely explained my reasoning to them. They're pretty much the only ones in their public schools without the latest iPhone. I bought all 3 of them simple durable flip phones and disabled all MMS.

    For context, I've been a programmer since '97 and started tooling around on BBS's in the early 90s. It gets harder and harder every time they ask to say "no", but I think they are truly better individuals without smartphones...at least not this young. And honestly, even if the parental controls are improved to a point where I could limit everything I wanted to limit, I'd spend so much time administering the controls, I'd burn out and get lazy.

    • I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

      I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

      I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

      The one thing I am adamant about is them not having the internet in their pockets. The thought of them plowing through 4chan or sending/receiving nude texts...or unwittimgly talking to paedophiles...nightmares.

      Kids are supposed to disobey and get into trouble. But for Pete'ssake make them work for it! Don't hand them all the gory details on an iPlatter in never-ending full motion HD! There's no effort to type in a search term or click a link compared to procuring and hiding a skin mag. Even in the early internet days on a desktop, you still had a fair risk of getting caught since you were in the living room in plain view!

      The whole sexting thing is pretty much a given...if the first MMS ever wasn't someone's ass, then the 2nd or 3rd probably was. It was inevitable from there. And then to blindly whitelist all senders by default...terribly risky to give to a child.

      And don't get me started on addiction. I don't do Facebook, and my wife gave it up 8 years ago. She doesn't want a smartphone after breaking 3 of them in a year back in 2014. I have 1, but pretty much use it for email and news feeds only.

      I love my kids, and they tell me I'm the best Dad ever. They still ask every few months about iPhones, even though I've largely explained my reasoning to them. They're pretty much the only ones in their public schools without the latest iPhone. I bought all 3 of them simple durable flip phones and disabled all MMS.

      For context, I've been a programmer since '97 and started tooling around on BBS's in the early 90s. It gets harder and harder every time they ask to say "no", but I think they are truly better individuals without smartphones...at least not this young. And honestly, even if the parental controls are improved to a point where I could limit everything I wanted to limit, I'd spend so much time administering the controls, I'd burn out and get lazy.

      I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

      I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

      I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

      The one thing I am adamant about is them not having the internet in their pockets. The thought of them plowing through 4chan or sending/receiving nude texts...or unwittimgly talking to paedophiles...nightmares.

      Kids are supposed to disobey and get into trouble. But for Pete'ssake make them work for it! Don't hand them all the gory details on an iPlatter in never-ending full motion HD! There's no effort to type in a search term or click a link compared to procuring and hiding a skin mag. Even in the early internet days on a desktop, you still had a fair risk of getting caught since you were in the living room in plain view!

      The whole sexting thing is pretty much a given...if the first MMS ever wasn't someone's ass, then the 2nd or 3rd probably was. It was inevitable from there. And then to blindly whitelist all senders by default...terribly risky to give to a child.

      And don't get me started on addiction. I don't do Facebook, and my wife gave it up 8 years ago. She doesn't want a smartphone after breaking 3 of them in a year back in 2014. I have 1, but pretty much use it for email and news feeds only.

      I love my kids, and they tell me I'm the best Dad ever. They still ask every few months about iPhones, even though I've largely explained my reasoning to them. They're pretty much the only ones in their public schools without the latest iPhone. I bought all 3 of them simple durable flip phones and disabled all MMS.

      For context, I've been a programmer since '97 and started tooling around on BBS's in the early 90s. It gets harder and harder every time they ask to say "no", but I think they are truly better individuals without smartphones...at least not this young. And honestly, even if the parental controls are improved to a point where I could limit everything I wanted to limit, I'd spend so much time administering the controls, I'd burn out and get lazy.

      I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

      I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

      I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

      The one thing I am adamant about is them not having the internet in their pockets. The thought of them plowing through 4chan or sending/receiving nude texts...or unwittimgly talking to paedophiles...nightmares.

      Kids are supposed to disobey and get into trouble. But for Pete'ssake make them work for it! Don't hand them all the gory details on an iPlatter in never-ending full motion HD! There's no effort to type in a search term or click a link compared to procuring and hiding a skin mag. Even in the early internet days on a desktop, you still had a fair risk of getting caught since you were in the living room in plain view!

      The whole sexting thing is pretty much a given...if the first MMS ever wasn't someone's ass, then the 2nd or 3rd probably was. It was inevitable from there. And then to blindly whitelist all senders by default...terribly risky to give to a child.

      And don't get me started on addiction. I don't do Facebook, and my wife gave it up 8 years ago. She doesn't want a smartphone after breaking 3 of them in a year back in 2014. I have 1, but pretty much use it for email and news feeds only.

      I love my kids, and they tell me I'm the best Dad ever. They still ask every few months about iPhones, even though I've largely explained my reasoning to them. They're pretty much the only ones in their public schools without the latest iPhone. I bought all 3 of them simple durable flip phones and disabled all MMS.

      For context, I've been a programmer since '97 and started tooling around on BBS's in the early 90s. It gets harder and harder every time they ask to say "no", but I think they are truly better individuals without smartphones...at least not this young. And honestly, even if the parental controls are improved to a point where I could limit everything I wanted to limit, I'd spend so much time administering the controls, I'd burn out and get lazy.

      I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

      I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

      I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

      The one thing I am adamant about is them not having the internet in their pockets. The thought of them plowing through 4chan or sending/receiving nude texts...or unwittimgly talking to paedophiles...nightmares.

      Kids are supposed to disobey and get into trouble. But for Pete'ssake make them work for it! Don't hand them all the gory details on an iPlatter in never-ending full motion HD! There's no effort to type in a search term or click a link compared to procuring and hiding a skin mag. Even in the early internet days on a desktop, you still had a fair risk of getting caught since you were in the living room in plain view!

      The whole sexting thing is pretty much a given...if the first MMS ever wasn't someone's ass, then the 2nd or 3rd probably was. It was inevitable from there. And then to blindly whitelist all senders by default...terribly risky to give to a child.

      And don't get me started on addiction. I don't do Facebook, and my wife gave it up 8 years ago. She doesn't want a smartphone after breaking 3 of them in a year back in 2014. I have 1, but pretty much use it for email and news feeds only.

      I love my kids, and they tell me I'm the best Dad ever. They still ask every few months about iPhones, even though I've largely explained my reasoning to them. They're pretty much the only ones in their public schools without the latest iPhone. I bought all 3 of them simple durable flip phones and disabled all MMS.

      For context, I've been a programmer since '97 and started tooling around on BBS's in the early 90s. It gets harder and harder every time they ask to say "no", but I think they are truly better individuals without smartphones...at least not this young. And honestly, even if the parental controls are improved to a point where I could limit everything I wanted to limit, I'd spend so much time administering the controls, I'd burn out and get lazy.

      I am in my late 30's with 3 kids between 9 and 14. I honestly can't tell if I'm doing the right thing anymore on this front, but I have outright refused to let my kids have smartphones. I'm not looking to this crowd for affirmation or vindication, but I hope to share my experience for those who find themselves in similar circumstance. Maybe you can give me some perspective.

      I know the nonsense I got up to when I was a teen...and I was a "good" kid who barely had a healthy dose of trouble. The mistakes that accompanied learning were unavoidable...but the repercussions were likely temporary and surviveable. And you had to kinda seek out the truly permanent or mortally dangerous risks.

      I'm not a prude. I stopped forcing my kids to wear helmets once they had ridden their bikes for a year. The only hovering I do around my kids is making sure the boys don't bloody each other.

      The one thing I am adamant about is them Bài vit hay lm https://thongtacconggiare.net.... [thongtacconggiare.net.vn]

    • I would say upfront this isn't my children's experience but my own. I was frustrated with the amount of time I spent on social media and quit a few years ago and am current using a feature phone. For the most part I'm happy with my decision. I'm not a particularly gregarious or extrovert person, but even I noticed a significant drop in invitations to parties and social events sent out via Facebook and the like. If you're not on Facebook, people don't take the time to send you a special message via other cha

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        My kids have access to school issued Ipads, we also use a kindle with "Free time" which gives you access to alot of kids apps for younger kids. Phones are issued at age 13, and we watch usage and help the kids adjust. I find it helpful for my kids to stay connected with friends and keep in touch with us when we are out.
    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      I have six kids and our policy is you get a phone at age 13. Old enough to be mature, but young enough that we can still control them. It's a great tool for the kids and gives us leverage for punishments.
      Our school system requires ipads for the kids, which has made it difficult to enforce a blanket ban. They always claim to be working on school work and the fight is not worth it.

      Instead, I watch the bandwidth per device, although I don't generally snoop on actual content. The kids know I can if I want to,
  • MacOS has had parentally managed user accounts for quite a while which can do all the application, website, and time-based lockdowns.
    These are the sorts of things that parents want control over (until little Johnny gets savvy and decides to explore the mac recovery partition because nobody's put in a firmware password)
    The thing is, most parents don't know about these features - much less make use of them.
    It's easy to implement - when you know about them. The issue is that nobody knows, and don't have time/i

  • Iâ(TM)ve been using appleâ(TM)s enterprise mobile device management software to set limits on my kids phones. JAMF is great for a slashdotter (and free for two devices if you read daring fireball) but the average iPhone parent could use something with a bit more âoeit just worksâ in it. This is a good idea if apple implements it well, though it will kill any 3rd parties that already sell such services.
  • Oh come on. Apple: Didn't you have parents? Oh no, you didn't. Let me tell you - as a former child....
  • Children do not need phones, let alone smartphones.

    I commonly see this weak excuse from parents claiming they, "want to know where their children are."

    Seriously? You're that bad of a parent that you haven't the foggiest idea where your kids are? Here was what my childhood was like back in the 2000s.

    Wake up - take bus to school - school - sports practice - ride home with family friends - home.

    Here's what a non busy day looked like: wake up - bus- school - bus- home.

    Wow! It's like somehow I was in the

  • They are afraid there parents turn on parental controls and lock them out.
    • They are afraid there parents turn on parental controls and lock them out.

      Yeah, i know, "their". It's a fucking typo, you toddler.

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