Google undertakes not to exploit user health data

Google is committed not to collect health data from Fitbit users for advertising purposes. In order to calm the concerns of NGOs and the European Commission, the Mountain View firm has indeed promised not to exploit the information collected by bracelets and smart health connected watches.

In November 2019, Google announced the buyout of Fitbit for the sum of $ 2.1 billion. Thanks to this strategic acquisition, the Mountain View firm hopes to give a boost to its Wear OS wearable ecosystem. Almost a year later, the buyback has still not been validated. Fearing for the privacy of Fitbit users, the European Commission has not always given Google the green light.

These last months, about twenty NGOs have also expressed their concerns about the redemption. In a recent press release, organizations such as Beuc, the European Bureau of Consumer Unions, the Open Markets Institute and the Consumer Federation of America believe that the buyout will endanger the protection of personal data. “Google May Harness Fitbit’s Unusually Valuable Health and Location Data Sets to Strengthen Its Dominance in Online Advertising” explain the NGOs.

On the same topic: Best Fitbit smartwatches and bracelets: which ones to buy in 2020?

Google seeks to accelerate the buyout of Fitbit

Faced with the criticisms formulated, Google undertook to do not collect health data from Fitbit users in order to advertise, report our colleagues from Reuters. “The buyback only concerns devices, not data” says the research giant, with the avowed aim of accelerating the buyout of Fitbit.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that preserves consumer expectations that data from Fitbit devices will not be used for advertising purposes” says a Google spokesperson.

The European Commission will examine Google’s acquisition request as soon as July 21, 2020. According to Reuters, the commitments made by the American firm should tip the scales in its favor. In order to make a decision, however, the Commission still has to survey competing firms and a panel of users. We’ll tell you more as soon as possible. While waiting for more information, feel free to give your opinion in the comments below.

Source: Reuters

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