Let’s talk Smartwatches, ladies and gentlemen. I will start this news piece by talking about how I’m surprised it didn’t catch on like many thought it would. There is a degree of practicality in possessing a smartwatch and connecting it through Bluetooth to your phone. However, a watchdog group has found a security flaw in some of these watches. Specifically, they found that smartwatches built for children are easily hacked into.
The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) tested watches from brands including Gator and GPS for Kids. It said it discovered that attackers could track, eavesdrop or even communicate with the wearers.
The smartwatches are basically manufactured as basic smartphones. They allow children’s location to be constantly tracked and keep parents in constant communication. Some even include SOS alarms which allows the child to call their parents immediately should an emergency occur.
The NCC found out that the watches by Gator and GPS for Kids transmitted and stored data without encryption. This meant that any hacker with basic knowledge would be capable of tracking children as they moved. In other cases, they would make parents think the child is in a completely different location.
Spokeswoman Alex Neill said: “Safety and security should be the absolute priority. If that can’t be guaranteed, then the products should not be sold.” I agree with her, especially considering this could be used to aid on the kidnapping of children in the recent years.
So, what has happened after this? Well, the manufacturers responded swiftly to the first sign of alarm. GPS for Kids said it had resolved the security flaws for new watches and that existing customers were being offered an upgrade. All the while the UK distributor of the Gator watch said it had moved its data to a new encrypted server and was developing a new, more secure app for customers.