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Naughty kids smartwatch gets mass recall order from European Commission

The European Commission has ordered that a smartwatch designed for children is recalled due to concerns that it poses a potentially serious risk for its users.

The watch in question is the Safe-KID-One watch made by German company ENOX, which appeared in a weekly RAPEX report. RAPEX is an EU-wide rapid information exchange system that raises the alarm for non-food products that are found to pose a serious health or safety risk.

The Safe-KID-One watch appeared in one of these RAPEX reports identifying the device as having a 'Serious' risk level. The alert was submitted from Iceland with the product deemed not to comply with the Radio Equipment Directive.

The report suggests the companion smartphone app for the watch was shown to have 'unencrypted communications with its backend server and the server enables unauthenticated access to data.' This means data such as location history, phone numbers and serial number could be easily retrieved and changed.

This could enable a user to send commands to any watch, make it call another number, communicate with the child wearing the device and perhaps most worrying, locate the child through GPS. The report suggests a recall of the product from end users.

The First Commercial VR Devices – The EyePhone Head-Mounted Displays. In the late 1960s, the virtual and augmented reality terms were coined, describing the field of technology we know today. This also encompassed the appearance of two of the very first commercial virtual reality devices in the 1980s in the face of the EyePhone 1 and the EyePhone HRX. Developed by VPL research, a company by Jaron Lanier, the devices were extremely expensive, costing as much as $9,400 for the 1 version and $49,000 for the HRX. Customers could also buy gloves that costed $9,000. While the devices didn’t really take off, which is understanding, having in mind their price, they were a major step forward in the development of virtual reality haptics and virtual reality goggles and head-mounted displays.

Enox has since responded to the recall order stating that the version of the watch was tested by the appropriate regulatory bodies in Germany and passed those tests so it could go on sale. It believes that the RAPEX report was based on tests carried out in Iceland it feels were 'excessive – not reasonable, material or fair – or, based on a misunderstanding or the wrong product.'

It's now seeking that the test conclusion in Iceland be reversed based on successful testing carried out on the watch in Germany.

This isn't the first time there has been raised concerns over the safety of kids smartwatches. Back in 2017, the Norwegian Consumer Council carried out tests on several kids smartwatches. It found that hackers could exploit security holes in three of the watches allowing them to talk to the kids wearing them and even spoof their location letting parents think they are actually somewhere else.

This does though appear to be one of the first times the RAPEX system has been used in relation to data protection and privacy. With a range of companies including Fitbit and Garmin now making wearables for kids, the importance of complying with all of the key regulations that deem these devices safe has never been more important.

Scientists with NASA can use virtual reality to enable robot arms in space to perform gestures that are being done on earth with an operator.

Hopefully this will be the last time a kids wearable gets into trouble. It's probably safe to assume though that more devices will come under the same kind of scrutiny in the future too.

Via : The Register

Naughty kids smartwatch gets mass recall order from European Commission


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