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Germany bans children's smartwatches over surveillance concerns

Staff Writer |
Germany's Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the country's telecommunications agency, has banned the sale of children's smartwatches after it classified such devices as "prohibited listening devices."

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The agency said it "already taken action against several offers on the Internet."

The ban has nothing to do with the public service announcement published online by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) last month.

In mid-October, BEUC has warned parents that many kids' smartwatches are plagued by security flaws that allow attackers to track children and listen to their conversations.

It's this last part the German regulator took notice to, as today's ban doesn't even mention the word "security," but focuses on the ability of modern kids' smartwatches to silently record conversations.

"Using an app, parents can use such children's watches to listen unnoticed to the child's environment and they are to be regarded as unauthorized transmitting equipment," said Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency.

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