Children's Smartwatches Now Banned In Germany

Children's Smartwatches Now Banned In Germany

"Using privacy regulation to ban such devices is a game-changer, stopping these manufacturers playing fast and loose with our kids' security", he added.

Germany's Federal Network Agency advised parents to destroy the watches and said it has taken action against firms that sell the devices.

Germany's telecommunication agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, has banned smartwatches for kids, and is asking parents to destroy them.

"The eavesdropping must be wireless", Stefan Hessel, academic assistant at the juris professorship of legal informatics and CISPA at Saarland University, told Wareable.

A large number of providers in Germany now sell smartwatches aimed at children.

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The FNA said that parents had been using such smartwatches to listen in on their children at school, and warned teachers to be on the lookout for them. The watches targeted include a SIM card and offer a limited telephone function which can be controlled by an app. The watches are aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 12, Reuters reports. Both of the mentioned firms have said that they had resolved the security issues. "They are seen as a prohibited transmitter", Jochen Homann, president of the agency, said in a statement, according to The Guardian.

Surveillance is a particularly sensitive issue in Germany, where the former East Germany's Stasi secret police and the Nazi era Gestapo kept a close watch on the population. An internet-connected doll called My Friend Cayla has already been banned because of spying concerns.

Finn Myrstad, head of digital policy at the NCC said: "This ban sends a strong signal to makers of products aimed at children that they need to be safer".

The agency's actions reflect growing concerns about the security and privacy risks associated with the exploding number of "smart" or interconnected gadgets being branded as the internet of things.

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