Germany’s telecommuncations agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, has issued a ban on smartwatches for kids, and is asking parents to immediately destroy them. According to Bleeping Computers, Germany regulators found that smartwatches aren’t a good fit for kids, and saw them as being targeted towards kids “prohibitive listening devices.” Regulators have requested parents to immediately take the watches away from their kids, destroy them, and pay close attention to their kids as well.
Germany has targeted the listening capabilities of smartwatches but didn’t say anything about the European Consumer Organization’s (BEUC) announcement that smartwatches pose a big security risk to kids’ privacy. The BEUC has already warned that GPS-tracking smartwatches can be hacked and attackers could potentially track their location, as well as spoof GPS location of the smartwatches.
“Using an app, parents can use such children’s watches to listen unnoticed to the child’s environment and they are to be regarded as unauthorized transmitting equipment,” said Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency.
If these crackdowns by Europe continue to go down the route they are currently on, it may force the hand of smartwatch makers to step up their security protocols and overall provide improvements to the smartwatch market. Security for smartwatches is good, adequate at best and can be improved, the say the least. It doesn’t help the fact that smartwatches are targeted towards ages five to 12 years old kids, and offer several functions such as voicemail, contact lists, abilities to make and receive calls, to name a few. With such sensitive protocols being executed from a wrist, Europe doesn’t see the current protections in place as good enough. Smartwatches still pose a great risk to kids.