Advertencia: *privacidad no incluida con este producto
The days of being a kid free to roam and do dumb things you spend your life grateful your parents never found out about are long gone. This smart watch/tracking device/wrist communication gadget is a helicopter parent's must have accessory (OK, to be fair, I can see why parents would love this thing, it's just...kinda creepy too). Made for kids 5 -12 years old, the TickTalk watch gives parents a GPS tracking, two-way HD video and voice calling, activity tracking, photo taking, music streaming, emergency SOS calling device with a host of parental controls. It also gives parents a super creepy discreet listening function called Super Hearing. Get the app, set up the watch, strap it on your kid, and they'll never know a moment of privacy ever again. And your worry as a parent will also probably go down. This smart tracking watch for kids really does highlight the issue of privacy versus safety and how those two conflict. So, hows does the TickTalk watch do when it comes to protecting you and your kids' privacy? Well, it looks like it probably does an OK job keeping your kids' personal information private. Your personal information as a parent? Well, maybe not so much.
¿Qué podría pasar si algo falla?
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the privacy of TickTalk's GPS location tracking, HD video and voice calling, photo taking, group chatting, activity tracking, music streaming smartwatch targeted at kids ages 5 - 12 years old. Let’s start with the bad news.
So, what data does the TickTalk watch and app collect? Well, there’s two stories here. There is the data collected on your child and then there is the data collected on the parent or guardian who sets up the account for the child. When it comes to the data collected on anyone under the age of 13, well, TickTalk does seem to do OK. TickTalk can collect things like a child's name or nickname, age, gender, and birth date if you choose to share it. They can also collect location information and device information. And, they say they don’t share any of this information publicly or sell or rent it to third parties for advertising purposes. So, that’s all good.
Then there is the data TickTalk says they can collect on adults. More data is collected there. Things like name, email address, relationship to the child, location information, device information, and more. And TickTalk says they can "sell" some personal data to third parties, as that term is defined in the California Consumer Privacy Act. That's not good. Although they do go on to say, "We do not knowingly sell or share (for cross-context behavioral advertising) the personal information of consumers under 16 years of age," so there's that. They do provide a way to opt-out of such data selling here.
TickTalk also says they can share your aggregated or de-identified data with partners, sponsors, or the press, for example, for things like marketing and identifying industry trends. We should remind you that it has been found to be pretty easy to re-identify some of these de-identified data sets and track down an individual’s patterns, especially when location data has been collected.
There is one specific feature on TickTalk's smartwatches for kids that really gives us the heebie jeebies. It's called Super Hearing and it is a feature that let's the owner of the TickTalk app ("full access users" as TickTalk calls them) discreetly call the smartwatch and listen in while their phone is on mute. TickTalk describes it like this, "You will be able to hear what is going on around the watch's surroundings, but your end will be muted." TickTalk also says it is was "designed solely for emergency and safety use." But yeah, we can see a bunch of ways that can be abused. Just check out the concerns this divorced mother on Reddit raised about her daughter's father spying on them in their home. Yikes!
So, what’s the worst that could happen with TickTalk? Well, anything that is designed to strap on a child as young as five, that tracks location, has two built-in cameras and a microphone, and a feature called Super Hearing that's pretty much made for spying comes with the potential for abuse and harm. It’s good to remember that. We know parents see these devices as helping protect their children from harm. We hope parents will also ask if these devices can cause harm too. Here’s hoping the smartwatch is never compromised in any way, and your child is never tracked or spied on by some bad person. That is a worst case scenario, but it’s one parents should take into consideration before buying this, or any similar device.
One final consideration. We think there is a good question to be raised about teaching young children that this level of digital surveillance in their lives is OK. Maybe we should track kids a little bit less, and teach them constant surveillance isn’t a good thing?
Consejos para protegerte
- Parents, keep a sharp eye on parent controls and permissions.
- Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
- Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary)
- Keep your app regularly updated
- Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
- When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
Rastrea la ubicación
¿Qué se puede usar para registrarse?
Cuenta de terceros
¿Qué datos recopila la empresa?
Email address, name, phone number, and password; Child's name, birthday, gender; Location.
¿Cómo utiliza la empresa estos datos?
¿Cómo puedes controlar el uso de tus datos?
¿Qué historial tiene la compañía en cuanto a la protección de los datos de los usuarios?
"The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU – a children’s safety program of the US Better Business Bureau) reports that TickTalk Tech failed to meet COPPA requirements, as it didn’t provide clear, non-confusing notice of information it collects on children and it doesn’t notify parents of practices as required by COPPA."
Información sobre privacidad infantil
¿El producto se puede usar sin conexión?
¿La información de privacidad es fácil de entender?
We found various privacy policies from TickTalk with confusing and contradictory "last updated" dates.
Enlaces a información de privacidad
¿El producto cumple nuestros estándares mínimos de seguridad?
"TickTalk Tech LLC's database where we store your Personal Information is encrypted at rest, which converts all Personal Information stored in the database to an unintelligible form."" ""Once a Child accesses their Parent-created Child Account, they can take and share photos (which may contain Personal Information) in the end-to-end encrypted Secure Messaging Center with Parent-Approved Contacts."
Actualizaciones de seguridad
Gestiona las vulnerabilidades
We were unable to confirm if TickTalk has a way to manage security vulnerabilities like a bug bounty program.
Política de privacidad
Children’s Privacy: CARU finds TickTalk Tech Smart Watch & app in violation of COPPACDP Institute
Children’s Advertising Review Unit Finds TickTalk Tech in Violation of COPPA and CARU’s Privacy Guidelines; Company Agrees to Corrective ActionsBBB National Programs
How to Sign Into Your TickTalk App AccountTickTalk
Kids’ Smart Watchmaker Updates Privacy Practices at Safe Harbor’s DirectionLexology
TickTalk 4 Kids Smartwatch Makers Agree To Overhaul Child Data Collection Process Following ReviewTop Class Actions
The Best Smartwatches and Phones for KidsThe New York Times
The Best Smartwatches For Kids (And Parents) To Stay ConnectedForbes
Smartwatch Privacy for Kids During the Coronavirus PandemicCommon Sense
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