Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Apple says it plans to help parents manage their kids' cellphone use

Apple says it plans to help parents manage their kids' cellphone use

In a bid to help parents monitor their children's usage of an iPhone and other devices, Apple is working on new features and enhancements to be rolled out shortly. "As a company that prides itself on values like inclusiveness, quality education, environmental protection, and supplier responsibility, Apple would also once again be showcasing the innovative spirit that made you the most valuable public company in the world".

The California State Teachers' Retirement System and Jana Partners are asking the company to add more parental controls to its devices.

"The days of just kind of coming up with technology and throwing it out there", he said, "and 10 years later, seeing what the potentially unintended consequences are, should be over".

The investors additionally note that Apple makes its money through the sale of hardware primarily, and that the extent to which users actually spend time with the products does not affect the overall business model. "We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids".

The letter cited various studies that have found negative effects of smartphones and social media on children's mental and physical health.

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The letter argued that overuse of such devices - and, in particular, social media - can lead to children getting distracted from work, not getting enough sleep, and experiencing depression - with clear health effects attached to the latter two.

There has been much discussion lately on the topic of technology's impact on children, from social media sites such as Instagram affecting self-esteem to the recent revelations about inappropriate content geared towards children available to view on YouTube's massive platform. At least among "passive" users, Facebook recently admitted it might not be the healthiest pastime.

CalSTRS director of corporate governance, Anne Sheehan, said the letter was a chance for Apple to "play a defining role in signalling to the industry that paying special attention to the needs of the next generation of consumers is both good for business and the right thing to do".

While CalSTRS is not invested in any Jana Partners LLC funds, the two organizations have a long-term relationship collaborating on engagements focused on increasing shareholder value.

Half of teenagers in the USA feel like they are addicted to their mobile phones and report feeling pressure to immediately respond to phone messages, according to a 2016 survey of children and their parents by Common Sense Media.

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