Google promises not to use advertising health data, which may attempt to rescue Fitbit transactions from EU regulators | Instant News

Fitbit devices (such as the Versa 2 smartwatch) collect large amounts of health data.

Fitbit devices (such as the Versa 2 smartwatch) collect large amounts of health data.
photo: Victoria Song

European regulators are reviewing Google’s acquisition of Fitbit, and are even seeking opinions from healthcare providers and the company’s rival wearable device manufacturers. According to an expert, this seems to make Google a bit sweaty. Reuters reports, Because the company may plan to provide a binding commitment not to use Fitbit health data to target ads.

Google In short, for regulators: “We only swear on hardware!”

Google announces $2.1 billion Acquire Fitbit Last November, this was not a quick and easy merger. At the time of the acquisition, Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president, said the company wanted Fitbit “to have the opportunity to invest more in Wear OS and bring wearables made by Google to the market.”

But Google critics and privacy advocates worry that the company will use the large amount of data collected by Fitbit, including information about heart health, sleep, menstrual cycle, etc., as part of Google’s core advertising positioning business. In February, the European Data Protection Commission Express concern On the privacy risks of transactions to consumers. The US Department of Justice and Australian regulators are also reviewing the transaction.

Google has received a reasonable warning from the EU that the acquisition of Fitbit has not been completed. The company must make concessions to the European Commission’s regulatory body before July 13 and prove that the acquisition is not harmful to consumers. The committee will decide the fate of Fitbit July 20th.

Since the announcement of the acquisition, Google has stated that it will not use Fitbit data in its advertising business.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters: “The wearable device market is very crowded. We believe that the hardware cooperation between Google and Fitbit will enhance competition in this area, benefit consumers, and make next-generation devices better and more affordable.” Throughout the process, we made it clear that we promised not to use Fitbit health data for Google ads, and we are responsible for providing people with choice and control data.”

However, it is one thing for a company to swear to avoid using customer data in a way that compromises privacy. For the company, making a legally binding commitment to avoid antitrust investigations is another matter entirely.


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