The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has been looking into the safety of smart watches that are pitched at kids and found that many come with significant security flaws and unreliable safety features and a lack of consumer protection.
The NCC is taking the matter seriously and is referring it to the regulators and other agencies who will investigate further and look at how to better regulate the industry.
But all this brings us back to a fundamental issue; the IoT industry is the Wild West. Many manufacturers see the dollar signs associated with making low-cast, high-tech gadgets for kids but are clueless when it comes to securing these devices.
That $25 activity tracker that looks like fun could be a beacon that tells strangers where your kids are. For example, the NCC pointed the finger at one particular device, the Gator watch, which is meant to all kids to broadcast their location to whitelisted numbers but the feature has been “particularly poorly implemented”.
With Christmas coming up, there will be lots of new gizmos on the market. Think carefully and do your research before asking Santa to deliver a connected device or toy.