According to several reports over the weekend, the German telecommunications agency Bundesnetzagentur has banned smartwatches for kids and is asking parents to take them out back and smash them to pieces. At the heart of the move is the agency’s determination that these devices are “prohibitive listening devices” that tear down the walls of privacy for the youth of the world.
The ban might seem a bit like Germany’s attempt to stymie Big Brother, but it does follow a recent announcement by another European agency—the European Consumer Organization (BEUC)—which made a blanket statement that smartwatches pose a security threat to kids’ privacy. Last month while citing GPS-tracking technology security flaws, BEUC warned that the devices shouldn’t even be available for purchase.
"Parents buy them to protect their children. However, they are probably unaware that instead of protecting them they are making their children more vulnerable," Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, said in a press release. "The EU urgently needs to regulate mandatory security standards for connected products. Producers should immediately fix these flaws or they should find their products withdrawn from the market."
One positive about all of this: As Europe continues to lay into the smartwatch market, it forces manufacturers to tighten up the security in their devices, which benefits all consumers in the end.
But First, Coffee
Think about how, in the mornings, you’re essentially a wasteful blob of a human being, walking around with seemingly no purpose in life. But then (!!) you brew that first pot of coffee, sip on that sweet elixir, and BOOM (!!!!), you’re a contributing member of society once again!
Now, take that same concept and apply it to buses.
That’s exactly what a new collaboration between Shell, Bio-Bean, and Argent Agency is aiming to do in London with the famed double decker buses. The group has already found a way to extract enough oil from coffee waste, which was blended with diesel, to power a London bus for an entire year.
So, keep on drinking—it’s good for your personal well-being and potentially city transportation networks of the future.
More CE News
- Net neutrality rules could be tossed out as early as next month.
- The Nvidia Titan Xp Star Wars Collector’s Edition (which lights up in your favorite lightsaber color, and even reflects the Jedi laser swords in the design) gets unboxed.
- Samsung’s French door fridge gets reviewed and is called “one of the best” ever tested by CNET.