German regulators put a ban on kids’ smartwatches

By : |November 20, 2017 0

Germany has banned the sale of smartwatches for kids, saying the devices go against the country’s surveillance laws. According to Bleeping Computer, (via Gizmodo) the regulators have deemed smartwatches targeted at kids “prohibitive listening devices” and are asking parents to destroy any smartwatches their kids have and advising schools to pay closer attention to kids with them.

The watches are aimed at children between the ages 5 and 12. Germany’s Federal Network Agency said that it has already taken action against several offers on the Internet. Agency President Jochen Homann said,  “Via an app, parents can use such watches to secretly listen to a child’s environment. They are to be seen as a prohibited transmitter.” He further said, “Our investigation has also shown that parents have used the watches to listen to teachers in the classroom.”

Homann added that based on his agency’s own research, parents are using their children’s smartwatches to listen to teachers in the classroom. Recording or listening to private conversations is against the law in Germany without the permission of all recorded persons.

                                 

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The agency said the watches in question include a sim card and offer a limited telephone function which can be controlled via an app, similar to baby monitoring devices. The agency has also asked schools to “pay more attention” to such watches among students.

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