International

EU recalls children’s smartwatch over data fears

European commission says Enox Safe-Kid-One can easily be hacked and poses risk to children

A children’s wristwatch that allows the wearer to be easily contacted and located has been recalled by Brussels over safety fears.

The European commission said the Enox Safe-Kid-One, which comes fitted with a global positioning system (GPS), a microphone and speaker, posed a serious risk to children.

The device is designed to allow parents to track the location of the wearer and contact them through an accompanying app.

But the commission warned in its rapid alert system that the app could be easily hacked, allowing strangers to track children or conceal the wearer’s true location from their parents.

“The data such as location history, phone numbers, serial number can easily be retrieved and changed,” the commission said.

“A malicious user can send commands to any watch making it call another number of his choosing, can communicate with the child wearing the device or locate the child through GPS.”

Ole Anton Bieltvedt, founder of the company that made the watch, said the device had passed tests last year carried out by German regulators.

He told the BBC that the version tested by the EU regulator was no longer on sale. The original alert over the watch was made by the consumer authorities in Iceland, which is outside the EU but a member of the European economic area.

Enox is planning to lodge an appeal in Reykjavik over the initial complaint about the German-manufactured watch.

Bieltvedt said Enox’s distributor in Iceland had made a “strong protest” and “they have appealed to the authorities in charge with the demand that this test conclusion would be reversed”.

In 2017, the German telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency, banned similar watches, describing them as “spying devices”

Agency

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