I’m extremely concerned

Safeguarding Concerns

I work in schools and am directly involved in Safeguarding, child protection and e-Safety.

Two scenarios come to mind:
Teacher A leaves his Poken on his desk. Student B connects his Poken to the the teacher's and they exchange information.

Student B's Poken gets into the hands of either School Bully C or Child Abuser D and the Pokens exchange information.

Both scenarios could have potentially catestrophic results.

To my mind this device is a suicide or murder waiting to happen. I hope you have thought this through.

My feeling is that ghost should be the default mode. Even with details exchanged, some kind of confirmation on the website from both parties should be necessary before such sensitive information is exchanged.
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  • Hello Linda,

    We appreciate your concerns and always welcome comments and feedback.
    While in no way do we want to belittle the concern for safety and privacy, the poken data exchange is much like trading business cards. In the scenarios you list, perhaps a similar outcome would be had if A or B left their business cards, or any document with their address and/or phone number, lying around. Poken would actually provide an added level of security, as you can't "take back a business card" while you can delete contacts in your timeline.
    We at Poken take data privacy and security very seriously, and follow or supersede best practises on the internet. One could argue that leaving your always-password-protected poken lying around would be far less damaging than a stray mobile phone full of sensitive data. Perhaps for some people Poken is a solution, rather than an additional risk.
    Thank you for pointing out situations in which any user should be careful with their personal data, whether technology or internet-related, or not. It's always possible to think up negative scenarios relating to a product or technology. If one looks at the flip side of your comment, poken provides a new level of security to online relationships that is in line with the requirements set by the Child Protection Act: any sensitive audience, such as children, should be protected from establishing any kind of relationship online with anyone not met in person. Poken provides that validation, that the two users have indeed been allowed to have contact "in the real world".

    Best regards,

    Poken
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  • I’m no better
    I'm sorry I have to disagree.

    Just because something is designed for business does not mean young people will not use them. Their "fun" and "exciting" branding guarantees appeal. I can pretty well guarantee they will become a problem of some sort in schools.

    "One could argue that leaving your always-password-protected poken lying around would be far less damaging than a stray mobile phone full of sensitive data" No - once contact has been made between the two pokens, as I understand it, the two users information is then exchanged and by going on the internet the users have access to the other person's data.

    You are assuming that the device will always be used in "friendly" situations... ... it is too easy for the devices to be used without one party's consent. Once that private information is exchanged there is no way out and no way of saying "no, actually I don't want that person to have my details"

    Meeting face-to-face does not make this Child Protection friendly. Child abusers groom by winning a youg person's trust and by finding a way of making themselves a constant in every aspect of the young person's lives.

    In my view the process should be as follows:

    Pokens touch and exchange tags
    Pokens are connected to the internet by their respective users.
    At this point, the user should be asked, for each individual contact, whether they give permission for the other person to receive their contact details.
    If this is refused, the contact is dropped, otherwise the information can be exchanged.

    This means that when Teacher A connects his Poken to the internet and sees that Student B wants his information and the teacher can deny that information being passed on.

    Similarly, Student B can deny his information going to School Bully D.

    What I object to is that once these devices have made contact the exchange of information is the default... there is no going back before the exchange of details.
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