SMARTWATCHES BOUGHT FOR CHILDREN who do not necessarily need them can be hacked, according to a warning out of Norway and its local Consumer Council (NCC).
The NCC took in a range of devices for a good look over and presumably, did not keep any back for Christmas present regifting. The BBC has reported on this, saying that John Lewis has already pulled at least one model from its stores. John Lewis explained
John Lewis explained that "as a precautionary measure we have withdrawn from sale all Gator smartwatch products while we await further advice and reassurance from the supplier."
The watches cost around £100, apparently, and include models from Gator and GPS for Kids. Some of them let kids contact their folks in an emergency, while others transfer and store data with no encryption. While the latter non-feature sounds like something a bigger or younger sibling would do, no one wants it from a device that they have paid for out of their own pocket.
John Lewis says it recalled the Gator watch model from stores until it gets some sort of answers out of the vendor. Your kids have probably lost theirs already or traded them for football stickers, but if not, you might consider putting them on a high shelf, or near some soap or salad or something.
The Gator is advertised as both a smartwatch and a mobile phone, it has a sim card and everything. Its battery lasts for four days, and it is splash proof, that doesn't mean that muck will not stick though.
The NCC is happy to throw up the scandal dirt, telling anyone that will listen that these things are not fit for kids.
"It's very serious when products that claim to make children safer instead put them at risk because of poor security and features that do not work properly," says Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the Norwegian Consumer Council.
"Importers and retailers must know what they stock and sell. These watches have no place on a shop's shelf, let alone on a child's wrist."
We also got a lot of comment from the security industry. To cut a long story short, the kith and kin of security experts are unlikely to get a smart wrist thing for Christmas. µ
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