Google has bought Fitbit, in a deal worth more than $2.1bn. And now, understandably, some Fitbit users are worried about their data being handed over to the search giant.
In buying Fitbit, Google is getting its hands on an awful lot of data. It’s rich data too, given all the physical metrics that a Fitbit monitors. Google will know how people sleep, what their heart-rates are, their exercise habits and plenty more besides.
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Google, of course, already has more data than you can shake a USB stick at, but this particular sort of information is hard to come by and gives the company an even deeper knowledge of consumers.
Google for its part has attempted to comfort Fitbit owners, by saying: “When you use our products, you’re trusting Google with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and we work hard to protect your information, put you in control and give you transparency about your data.
“Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.”
How do I delete my Fitbit data?
If you’re concerned, you can always delete your Fitbit data. It will, however, take a while.
The simplest way to go about it is by deleting the Fitbit app, either on your mobile device or desktop. You’re given a seven-day period to change your mind, and Fitbit says your data will be fully deleted within 90 days.
Will Google take my Fitbit data?
As per Google’s statement, the company has said it won’t sell anyone’s data on, and that it will give all Fitbit users a chance to delete their data if they are uncomfortable with Google taking ownership of the business.
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Why did Google buy Fitbit?
Google bought Fitbit for a variety of reasons. Firstly, as has already been discussed, Fitbit products collect rich data that Google can’t readily get elsewhere.
Beyond that, Google is keen to grow its presence in the wearables market. Owning Fitbit gives the company access to the tech and the know-how to properly take on the Apple Watch 5.
Equally, Fitbit was struggling to take on the competition as more and more companies entered the wearables market, with Apple and Garmin leading the field. Arguably then, the acquisition suited both parties.
Notably, Fitbit has managed to pioneer industry-leading battery life in its watches. This is a feature Google will be keen to carry into the rumoured future ‘Pixel Watch’ and it could give the company a leg up over Apple.