Children’s smartwatches have been recalled in Europe over “serious” fears that they could expose their location and personal details to hackers.
The European Commission issued a recall alert for the Safe Kid One watch, manufactured by German firm Enox, earlier this week.
The EC said that the mobile application installed in the watch had unencrypted communications with its server, which could allow hackers to access children’s stored data.
The EC 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.”
The EC claimed that the product does not comply with the Radio Equipment Directive.
“The data such as location history, phone numbers, serial number can easily be retrieved and changed,” the recall notice said.
These smartwatches, which can be bought online for around £90 in the UK, are branded as “high tech safety and surveillance” devices and allow parents to download an app that can locate and track their children “almost to the meter” on a GPS map.
“You can also follow the route of your kid for the last 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc, through recording and playback of movements,” the website states.
The smartwatches have a built-in speaker and microphone, and are advertised as being secure because only pre-listed people can contact the child through the device. Parents can set up a “geographical fence” around the child, and receive an alert if they leave the area they have selected.
Researchers have raised concerns about child-tracking smartwatches in the past, claiming that they have serious security flaws. The smartwatch examined at the time, MiSafes Kid’s Watcher Plus, had similar features to the EU-banned device this week.
Enox founder Ole Anton Bieltvedt told the BBC that the watch had passed tests carried out by German regulators last year allowing it to be sold, and that they have appealed to the authorities to demand a reversal of this decision.