Marketing

Stalker risk: Kids $30 smartwatch exposes exact location data of 5,000 users

$30 smartwatch is a stalking danger to kidsCredit: Amazon
$30 smartwatch is a stalking danger to kids

Yet another budget kids smartwatch has been sold to thousands of consumers without the manufacturer putting much thought into the security of its users and in this case potentially exposing children to stalkers, kidnapping or worse.   

Researchers at antivirus testing firm AV-Test.org issued a warning on Monday about the SMA-WATCH-M2 smartwatch, which offers parents remote monitoring functionality via a GPS tracker connected to a SIM card. 

The product is marketed as a tool for giving parents peace of mind, but the researchers found the smartwatch manufacturer SMA, which is based in Shenzhen, China, is endangering users by storing extremely sensitive user data on a server that can be accessed by a “completely unsecured online interface”, which doesn’t encrypt communications and has a broken authentication mechanism. 

Details on the server include exact and real-time user location data, phone numbers, user names, user IDs, registered address data, pictures and conversations from more than 5,000 children from Turkey, Poland, Mexico, Belgium, Hong Kong, Spain, the Netherlands and China. The researchers were also able to access 10,000 parent accounts from the parent’s smartphone child monitoring app.