Two major Apple shareholders, JANA Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which collectively own $2 billion in Apple shares, have called for measures to find out the impacts of iPhone addiction among children. The two shareholders have presented the company with several studies which appear to reveal iPhone addiction among kids and have outlined actions to tackle the issue.
The two shareholders set out five ideas to tackle overuse of iPhones by children, they include an Expert Committee which would study the issue and monitor ongoing developments in technology and how it’s integrated into the lives of children; the second measure links into the first - the shareholders list research by the committee as well as partnering with other research efforts; the third suggestion is to offer new tools in the operating system to help parents manage their child’s usage, they propose expanding the device setup to include entering the users age and adjusting the parental controls to be suit the users in terms of limiting screen time as well as other features.
While it’s all well and good providing these tools, parents still have to be educated sufficiently on the topic in the first place. As part of the suggestions, Apple should explain to parents why it’s offering additional choices based on research, helping parents make more informed decisions. The final measure suggested is that the company should have a high-level executive to monitor this issue and to release a yearly progress report, similar to what the company already does for environmental and supply chain issues.
The shareholders said that Apple “would once again be playing a pioneering role” if it were to lead the way in protecting its younger users from the harmful effects of addiction. Those who penned the letter accepted that the issue was complex and that it hopes this action is the start of a “constructive and well-informed dialogue.”