You can see them on more and more arms of adults, but also of children: smartwatches. Does your child have such a smart watch? If it also wears the watch to school, you should know what to look for.
Smartwatches designed especially for children can pose problems. In fact, some devices allow you to record sounds with the built-in microphone. Children or even parents can listen to and record conversations from a distance without being noticed. But you can’t just secretly make recordings of others! Smartwatches with such a function are even banned. If you or your child has a smartwatch that has apps on it that enable “voice monitoring,” “baby monitor” or “one-way conversation,” that watch must be destroyed. Those who do not comply face up to two years imprisonment or a fine.
But even watches that do not have this function can lead to conflicts. For example, they invite cheating or secretly taking photos of others in class. Because you can not always clearly distinguish them from “normal” wristwatches. This also increases the risk of cyberbullying, for example, when unflattering photos of others are circulated.
To protect fellow students and teachers, smartwatches are sometimes banned at schools. Teachers are allowed to collect them and do not have to return them until after class.
Not all watches with integrated cell phone or camera are banned, but only those with which you can make unnoticed sound recordings and show them to others. If you are considering purchasing a smartwatch, you should also pay attention to this – even though watches with listening capabilities are actually no longer allowed to be sold!
Even if your child has a permitted smartwatch, it’s important to talk to them about using it beforehand. Explain to him that, for example, you can’t just take photos of others without asking their permission first. Read more about this topic in our article: The smartwatch as an entry into the digital world?