Germany puts blanket ban on smartwatches for kids over privacy concerns

Updated: Nov 19, 2017, 17:07 IST | Agencies

Germany's telecommunications regulator has announced a blanket ban on smartwatches for children over privacy concerns and asked parents to destroy the ones already purchased

Germany's telecommunications regulator has announced a blanket ban on smartwatches for children over privacy concerns and asked parents to destroy the ones already purchased. "Via an app, parents can use such children's watches to listen unnoticed to the child's environment and they are to be regarded as an unauthorised transmitting system," Jochen Homann, President, Federal Network Agency said in a statement.

German telecoms regulator urged parents to destroy children’s smartwatches. Pic/Getty Images
German telecoms regulator urged parents to destroy children’s smartwatches. Pic/Getty Images

In a statement, the regulator said it had already taken action against several companies offering such smartwatches on online platforms. These smartwatches are sold by a large number of vendors in Germany. They are generally for children between the ages of five and 12 and are equipped with a SIM card and a limited telephony function which can be set up and controlled through an app. Concerns have been growing over such wearables for kids that have become popular.

European watchdog group, Norwegian Consumer Council, also issued a strongly-worded report warning of safety concerns over GPS-enabled devices. The agency specifically highlighted four kids' smartwatch brands — Gator 2, Tinitell, Viksfjord and Xplora.

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