Google pledges not to use Fitbit user data for targeted ads
What you need to know
- Google has pledged not to use user data from its Fitbit purchase to target ads.
- Consumer advocacy groups expressed concern that the company would use its purchase to shore up its ads business, prompting an investigation by EU antitrust regulators.
- Google purchased Fitbit in 2019 for $2.1 billion, but government probes have slowed finalization.
After Consumer advocacy groups urged closer scrutiny of Google's Fitbit acquisition, the EU began to take a harder look at that deal. The primary concern, as per the advocates, was that Google would use Fitbit's data to more effectively deploy ad targeting and further its dominance in the digital ads sector. A new report from Reuters indicated that Google would be able to avoid antitrust probes on its Fitbit deal if the company pledged to not use user data to target ads. Google has now made that commitment, leaving the EU's regulators until July 20 to accept or carry out a more thorough probe.
Reuters reported the pledge this week, (via CNET):
Google hardly has a monopoly in the wearables space, and if it can convince the EU that it won't be using its Fitbit purchase to shore up those areas where it does have a monopoly (see - Chrome, ads), it just might be enough. The company has also been clear that its purchase of Fitbit was intended to help build up its Wear OS business, something that has been struggling to make an impact in the market so far.
"The wearables space is highly crowded, and we believe the combination of Google's and Fitbit's hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable," a Google spokeswoman told Reuters.
Fitbit Charge 4
The Fitbit Charge 4 is what we dubbed our best fitness band of 2020 so far. It has comprehensive sleep tracking, smartphone integration features, and most importantly for a smart band of any kind, long-lasting battery life..
- $129 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
- $129 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
- $129 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Yeah almost forgot, the check's in the mail. If you believe that I have a one-owner bridge in New York I'd like to sell you. Google is an ad agency, they'll get ads in there somehow. I think it would be so much easier to add features like Google Assistant to Fitbits than to make WearOS more feature-rich. The Versa 2 already has quasi-Alexa support so it wouldn't be a stretch.