Germany has taken steps to ban smartwatches aimed at children. The country described such devices as spying devices which would allow criminals to track the movement of children or use them to listen in on conversations.
The Federal Network Agency, Germany’s telecommunications regulator, pointed to the lax security measures being implemented in such devices. President Jochen Homann claims that the apps used to communicate with children can also be used to listen to surroundings without being detected. Something he regards as an unauthorised transmitting system.
According to research from the Agency, parents have been using this very function to listen to teachers in classrooms.
Studies from Norway have also shown that such devices transmit and store data without encryption. Vulnerabilities that opened the way for criminals to intercept and tamper with the transmissions. That said, it’s unclear if the Norwegian studies had any effect on the German decision to ban the smartwatches.
At the moment, all German parents are being advised to destroy childrens’ smartwatches if they have any. Such devices are also being pulled from stores, and schools have been instructed to keep an eye out for smartwatches in classrooms. Those traveling to the country should also keep the new ban in mind when crossing the border.