Germany Bans Kids’ Smartwatches with Listening Functions Dylan Duarte November 20, 2017 News Smartwatches that are aimed at children sometimes have listening functions built in that allow parents to tap into their childrens’ devices and monitor their situation. It operates under the same idea as a baby monitor and is oftentimes named as such. However, the feature can easily be used for nefarious purposes, and Germany’s Federal Network Agency is having none of it. In Germany, it’s illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess surveillance devices that are made to resemble other, innocuous objects. That’s why back in February they banned the sale of My Friend Cayla dolls, because the dolls could both record children and connect to the Internet. Hackers were able to access the doll through its bluetooth connection from up to 15 meters away. While the FNA isn’t necessarily worried about smartwatches getting hacked, they’re simply not a fan of how they work right out of the box. Parents have been instructed to destroy any smartwatches that they’ve bought for their kids that they can listen in on. Schools have also been told to be on the lookout for such devices. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Aside from this and the My Friend Cayla doll, the Norwegian Consumer Council issued a warning about the threats posed by children’s smartwatches, and a UK consumer rights group raised red flags about IoT toys that aren’t properly secured. Share This With The World!