I’ve spent the last thirty years studying and writing about the relationship between people and technology. And I’m worried, particularly about kids. When technology plays an outsized role in children’s lives, they’re deprived of the crucial experiences necessary for healthy development and relationships. As I wrote in my book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age:
You did it! On October 4, Mattel announced it will not release Aristotle, an AI device for babies and children. Mattel’s announcement came just two days after CCFC and The Story of Stuff Project sent the company more than 20,000 petition signatures urging them to shelve the device.
On October 19, 25 experts and public health organizations called on the producers of Channel One News, a commercial network shown in school classrooms, to update their advertising policies to stop advertising unhealthy food and beverages to children. Channel One’s 10-minute broadcasts include two minutes of ads and are viewed daily by millions of middle and high school students.
A number of brands of “smartwatches” intended to help parents monitor and protect young children have major security and privacy flaws which could endanger the children wearing them. A coalition of leading U.S. child advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, asking the agency to investigate the threat these watches pose to children.