Smartwatches & kids: Security risk?

(NBC News) Consumer groups are urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate some children’s smartwatches after researchers found these devices could make sensitive information vulnerable to hackers.

Researchers in Norway discovered flaws in children’s smartwatches that could be unlawful. This prompted seven consumer advocacy groups to address these concerns in a letter to the FTC.

The research tested 4 smartwatches made for kids, 3 of which are sold here in the U.S., and found major security vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to access smartwatches and manipulate the devices.

“A stranger could be using the watch to follow your kids around, communicate with your kid, listen in to conversations,” said Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America.

Privacy concerns also extend to data collected from these devices, where it’s stored and whether parents have control of that information.

Tinitell, one of the manufacturers mentioned in the report, posted a response on their website stating that they have updated their privacy policies and that “Tinitell is a secure product.”

The other two manufacturers of devices sold in the U.S. that were mentioned in the report, Caref and SeTracker, did not respond to a request for comment.

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