A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, calling them spying devices. It had previously banned an internet-connected doll, named My Friend Cayla, for the same reasons.

The Federal Network Agency has urged parents who had such watches to destroy them, as they could be used to track a child’s GPS. Ken Munro, a security expert at Pen Test Partners said that ‘there is a shocking lack of regulation of the ‘internet of things’, which allows lax manufacturers to sell us dangerously insecure smart products’.

The agency has also asked schools to ‘pay attention’ to smartwatches among students.

These kinds of watches are generally aimed at younger children, from the ages of five to 12. Most have sim card functionality and a limited telephony function. In October the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) reported that some of the watches, including those made by Gator and GPS for Kids transmitted and stored data without encryption.

This meant that through basic hacking techniques, someone could track a child’s location.

Head of digital policy at the NCC, Finn Myrstrad has called for stricter Europe-wide measures to increase the security of such devices.