The European Commission has enacted its Rapid Alert System for Non-food Products (RAPEX) to order the recall of a kids’ smartwatch which, they say, poses a potentially serious risk.
Through RAPEX, the Commission has sent out alerts to countries across the European Economic Area to warn them about various products it deems dangerous and at risk.
Among them is German-based firm Enox and their ‘Safe-KID-One’ watch. The smartwatch is marketed to parents as a means of keeping tabs on their children and comes with a one-click button for speed-dialing family members.
The Commission found that the watch does not comply with the Radio Equipment Directive and they outlined serious risks associated with the device. It found that the watch had unencrypted communications with its server which enables ‘unauthenticated access to data.’
Consequently, issues such as location history, phone numbers and the device’s serial number could be found and altered.
A malicious user can send commands to any watch, making it call another number of his choosing, can communicate with the child wearing the device or locate the child through GPS.- European Commission: RAPEX Alert
Kids smartwatches have had a troubled history. Just recently the UK’s data security outfit Pen Test Partners criticised the makers of such devices as unsafe and potentially dangerous for the child. Last month they found the ‘Gator’ watch had an exploitable bug that could be used by stalkers and criminals to snoop on as many as 30,000 customers.
This is the first time the RAPEX system has been put into practice and was described by Data Protection Officer Bernieri Christian, who discovered the flaw, as a ‘huge’ moment.
However, Enox challenged the RAPEX findings.
This RAPEX announcement is based on a test in Iceland. We think this test was excessive, not reasonable, material or fair, or based on a misunderstanding or the wrong product. A previous version of the product, which is not in the market anymore.
Our customer in Iceland has made a strong protest against this test conclusion in Iceland, based on the approval of the product in Germany, and we have appealed to the authorities in charge with the demand that this test conclusion would be reversed.- Enox: Press release
On a daily basis the European Commission receives alerts from national authorities across the European Union concerning dangerous products found on their markets. These alerts are sent through the rapid alert system known as the Safety Gate.
This includes data about the type of products found, the risks they pose, and the measures taken at national level to prevent or restrict their marketing.
Image: Enox Group