Top Apple investors ask company to do more to regulate digital addiction in children

Jan 10, 2018
Originally published on January 10, 2018 2:40 pm

Some top Apple investors are calling on the company to take more action in protecting children from the risks of digital addiction.

Together, the California's teacher pension fund and Jana Partners investment group own about $2 million in Apple stock. They say Apple should have more setting options to regulate how children interact with their devices.

Michael Scharf is the Chief of Child and Adolescent psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center.

He said both companies and parents should be monitoring children’s smartphone and social media use.

"I think that parents should right now be sensitive to the fact that unlimited use of technology and constant presence on social media isn't positive."

He says if Apple has data that researchers could use in terms of health outcomes such as depression and suicide, that would be beneficial.

But he says moderation of social media is definitely needed.

"The constant, unrestricted engagement in social media and being connected without a break, and for some without an escape from negative interactions can be very harmful. And would really just underscore the need to have a break from devices or media."

In that letter the pension fund and Jana Partners sent to Apple, they cited statistics that said on average children who use a smart phone receive their first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it.