Two major investors on Monday issued an open letter to Apple, titled “Think Differently About Kids,” to urge the Cupertino company to do more to protect children from smartphone addiction and potentially improve the parental control features on iPhone and iPads.
First published by USA Today, the open letter cites New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System as saying Apple should do more in terms of enhancing the parental controls on iPhone and iPad devices while give parents additional resources to protect their children’s wellbeing.
“There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility to an app designer, or more accurately to hundreds of app designers,” according to the letter.
It cites multiple research studies into the negative effects of smartphones and social media on children’s mental and physical wellbeing. The investors are also pressuring Apple to create a high-profile executive role overseeing those efforts and release annual progress reports.
“As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do,” they wrote.
The two investors control $2 billion worth of Apple shares.