“A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices,” Jane Wakefield reports for BBC News. “It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons.”

“Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them,” Wakefield reports. “‘Poorly secured smart devices often allow for privacy invasion. That is really concerning when it comes to kids’ GPS tracking watches – the very watches that are supposed to help keep them safe,’ said Ken Munro, a security expert at Pen Test Partners. ‘There is a shocking lack of regulation of the ‘internet of things’, which allows lax manufacturers to sell us dangerously insecure smart products. Using privacy regulation to ban such devices is a game-changer, stopping these manufacturers playing fast and loose with our kids’ security,’ he added.”

“Such watches – which are sold by a large number of providers in Germany – are generally aimed at children between the ages of five and 12. Most are equipped with a SIM card and a limited telephony function and are set up and controlled via an app,” Wakefield reports. “In October, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) reported that ‘some children’s watches – including Gator and GPS for kids – had flaws such as transmitting and storing data without encryption. It meant that strangers, using basic hacking techniques, could track children as they moved or make a child appear to be in a completely different location.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We don’t see any problem with this ban as these cheap, unsecured gadgets are an obvious safety issue.