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 Producers should immediately fix these flaws or they should find their products withdrawn from the market."