Many parents and children may think that smartwatches are the star gift this Christmas, but not everyone feels the same ecstasy with this type of colorful products, with large screens and decorated with the favorite cartoons of our children.
These smartwatches are aimed at children between the ages of five and 12 and some question their safety and privacy. The last ones have been the Germans.
The German Federal Internet Agency has banned this month the sale of smartwatches for children who have a function that allows “espionage” and has already taken action against several offers of the product on the Internet.
“We believe that parents use them to spy on their children, through an application and the microphone they include,” the statement read, “and these clocks” can not and should not be used as authorized devices for this type of transmission, which is foreign to the owner of the watch, “explains Jochen Homann, president of the agency in the text.
” Our research on these products discovered, for example, that parents were using them to listen to teachers while teaching their children ” The offer of these watches is very wide in the European market and many of them include a function that allows listening to the conversations of the owner and his surroundings remotely.
As explained in the statement, almost all include a SIM card, with restricted calls as standard, but that can be controlled by an app.
The application, whose drawing is a monitor, usually has a function with which you can access your microphone from remote locations and allows the user to call any number without the child noticing.
This allows the user to eavesdrop on the owner’s conversions. “This type of function, recording conversations without the consent of all the people involved, is forbidden in Germany,” the statement said.
After the decision, it is also recommended that families who have these watches at home get rid of them as soon as possible to avoid risks. In particular, the Agency advises schools to be attentive to whether their students have a watch of this type.
The Agency will act on the sellers and owners of these products. The latter will be notified that they have to destroy them and send evidence to the authorities that they have done so.
After demonstrating that the device has been disabled, the competent authority will send the citizen a ” certificate of destruction “.
This agency is not the only one that has denounced the risks that technological toys have for the little ones, called connected.
Last month, the Norwegian Consumer Council published a report on smartwatches for children, which raised concerns about security flaws and concerns about their privacy, among others.
And last year, consumer groups in the United States reported two products that contained microphones and sent recorded conversations “to marketing and advertising agencies.” One of them, My Friend Cayla, also had a lot of criticism in Germany.