Blog: Internet Of Things

Destroy kids GPS watches says German Federal Network Agency

Ken Munro 17 Nov 2017

Today, Jochen Homann, President of the German Federal Network Agency announced a ban on smart GPS tracking watches.

They did the same with the My Friend Cayla doll for the reasons we exposed earlier this year.

We’re really pleased to see that although there are no specific IoT laws yet in place, current legislation can be applied effectively when needed to ban insecure IoT products.

Similar outcomes can be achieved against insecure IoT devices via the FCC, by reporting when they don’t comply with their FCC approvals.

The original Bundesnetzagentur announcement is available here:

Here is an English version from Google Translate:

Federal Network Agency acts against children’s watches with interception function

Homann: “Protecting the environment of children”

The Federal Network Agency prohibits the sale of children’s watches with interception function and has already taken action against several offers on the Internet.

“Via an app, parents can use such children’s watches to listen unnoticed to the child’s environment and they are to be regarded as an unauthorized transmitting system”, says Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency. “According to our research, parents’ watches are also used to listen to teachers in the classroom.”

Prohibited listening devices

There are a large number of providers in the German market who offer smartwatches for children with a listening function. The target group are children between the ages of 5 and 12 years.

These watches have a SIM card and a limited telephony function, which are set up and controlled via an app. Such a monitoring function is often referred to as a “baby monitor” or “monitor function”. The app owner can specify that the clock unnoticed by the carrier and its environment calls any phone number. This enables him to listen unnoticed to the conversations of the watchman and his environment. Such a monitoring function is prohibited in Germany.

Action against buyers

The Federal Network Agency specifically advises schools to pay more attention to watches with interception function among students. If buyers of such watches are known to the Federal Network Agency, they ask them to destroy the clock and send proof of this to the Federal Network Agency. Parents are therefore advised to make their own watches harmless and to keep records of destruction.

How a destruction certificate in the case of a letter by the Federal Network Agency can be conducted, can be found at:

There is also an overview of product groups that constitute unauthorized transmitters under German law.