Two of the largest investors in Apple are urging the iPhone maker to offer parents improved software that would allow them to manage their children’s access to smartphone.
Jana Partners and California State Teacher’s Retirement System (CalSTRS), these two entities wrote an open letter to Apple, appealing Apple to offer tools to help children avoid addiction and give parents more options to protect their children’s health through monitoring usage.
Apple’s iOS already offers limited parental controls, including restrictions on
apps, use of features such as location sharing and access to certain kinds of content. However, the two organizations want even more iOS features that would give them more control, consistent with a kid’s development.
Jana and CalSTRS have about $2 billion in Apple stock. Jana Partners managing director is Barry Rosenstein and CalSTRS manages the retirement benefits for public educators in California, and it’s the second-largest public pension fund in the US. So their voices do matter.
Rosenstein and CalSTRS’s director of corporate governance Anne Sheehan said in the open letter that they worked with experts to review studies that found links between the use of electronic devices and adverse effects on health, sleep, empathy, and concentration.
The two organizations urge Apple to take more responsibility and reinvent parental controls in iPhone and iPad. In their opinion, the current settings offer an “all or nothing” approach, which lets parents block or allow access to certain features. They think Apple could redefine parental controls in smart devices, to keep up with recent studies and try to prevent various health issues that may be caused by smartphone addition.
As more advanced parental controls would qualify as a major selling point for Apple devices.