kids

Opinion: France’s total ban on smartphones in schools is too extreme

Opinion: France’s total ban on smartphones in schools is too extreme

A few days ago, French lawmakers passed legislation that was written to protect children from growing up like zombies enslaved to their smartphones and tablets. Such mobile devices will be banned in schools for children up to 15 years of age, both inside and outside classes. While it’s definitely easy to see this as a victory against the smartphone addiction that is plaguing society, it could actually end up doing more harm than good when these kids become ill-prepared to face the realities of modern life.

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Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is made for bigger kids

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is made for bigger kids

Android tablets may be dead for Google but they are not for Huawei or Samsung, and definitely not for Amazon. The company’s line of Fire tablets is still one of the best ways to enjoy everything Amazon has to offer, from shopping to music to video to, yes, Alexa. They also happen to be one of the most affordable tablets for kids around. And to show that it is committed to catering to kids of all sizes and ages, it is launching the new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, it biggest tablet built for kids with bigger needs.

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Snapdragon Wear 2500 wearable chip is for kids

Snapdragon Wear 2500 wearable chip is for kids

One of the cited reasons for the failure of Wear OS by Google (formerly Android Wear) smartwatches is that they are all running on a two-year old chipset. Considering the Snapdragon Wear 2100 is based on the Snapdragon 400, its technology goes way back to 2013. As promised, Qualcomm is delivering a much-needed and long-overdue update to its wearable platform. But funnily enough, it is marketing the Snapdragon Wear 2500 squarely at the kids’ wearable market, practically making a bet on that market instead of the grownups’ wearable industry.

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Facebook continues to push Messenger Kids, releasing app in Canada and Peru

Facebook continues to push Messenger Kids, releasing app in Canada and Peru

Back in December, Facebook released a new kids-focused chat app, prompting widespread criticism from child health advocates, including calls to pull the service altogether. Despite this controversy, Facebook has continued to make Messenger Kids available on iOS and Android, and has now announced the app's rollout to Canada and Peru.

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Microsoft launches news website that’s safe for young kids

Microsoft launches news website that’s safe for young kids

Microsoft has announced a new product and updates to existing products that ultimately benefit kids and families. Chief among the new offerings is MSN Kids, a news website based on the existing MSN site, but one created specifically for children. As well, Microsoft has updated its Launcher app with new parental controls, added site blocking to Edge for Android, and more.

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TeenSafe child monitoring app leaked thousands of customer data

TeenSafe child monitoring app leaked thousands of customer data

It seems that our eagerness or carelessness in surrendering our data so easily to companies and services is finally coming back to haunt us. From massive customer database hacking to the recent Facebook scandal, the data we've sowed on company servers are now being reaped by others, often by criminals. This latest incident is both unfortunate and probably also inevitable. TeenSafe, an app that's supposed to keep kids safe by letting their parents monitor them, has now practically achieved the opposite by leaking parents' and children's data to almost anyone who has been able to grab hold of its database.

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Echo Dot Kids privacy concerns raised by lawmakers, advocacy group

Echo Dot Kids privacy concerns raised by lawmakers, advocacy group

Amazon is facing both questions and criticism following the launch of its new Echo Dot for Kids, a colorful version of its Echo Dot product marketed specifically for children. The device is identical to the regular Dot device, the only exception being its colorful skin; it does, however, bring FreeTime Unlimited out-of-the-box alongside a slew of privacy concerns.

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Republic Wireless’ Relay LTE walkie-talkie is available for kids now

Republic Wireless’ Relay LTE walkie-talkie is available for kids now

Phones for kids are controversial, with parents wanting the ability to keep in touch with their offspring but not wanting to see them addicted to screens, and so Republic Wireless is hoping Relay will squeeze somewhere in-between. Finally available to order, Relay looks more like a tracking tile than a phone, and is really more like a walkie-talkie than anything else.

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Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon may have only announced its Echo Dot Kids Edition last week, but the colorful smart speakers are already in line for some deals. To make a regular Echo Dot into the Kids Edition, Amazon clads it in a child-friendly skin and then throws in its new FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa service, for some age-appropriate content.

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YouTube Kids promises safer choices for kids, parental controls

YouTube Kids promises safer choices for kids, parental controls

The Internet can be a scary place even for grownups who (at least should) know better. Imagine how even more dangerous it could be for young ones. As the biggest video source on the Internet, YouTube creates a dedicated YouTube Kids app to become a safe haven for children, basically anyone under 13 years old, to enjoy the treasury of the service's content. In light of recent criticisms and even legal complaints, YouTube is rolling out a few changes to give parents and kids better choices in what they consume and how they consume it.

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Thousands of Android apps violate child privacy, says study

Thousands of Android apps violate child privacy, says study

Just like with fake news, Facebook's actions, or inactions, are sending ripples throughout the tech industry. Data privacy has become a hot topic again and people are putting more and more services under a microscope. Just like YouTube, a new study from researchers affiliated with the International Computer Science Institute reports that thousands of Android apps could be in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA. But unlike YouTube, there's still some uncertainty on who should be held legally accountable or if there's a clear violation at all.

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YouTube hit with FTC complaint over child privacy violations

YouTube hit with FTC complaint over child privacy violations

In no small thanks to Facebook's blunder, tech companies, especially the big ones, have come under increased scrutiny over their handling of user data. Considering how it makes much of its revenue from advertising, Google and its businesses are a prime target for such investigations. A coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups have lodged a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission against YouTube, alleging that the video streaming giant knowingly and willfully collects and profits from tracking kids, all without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

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