After some uncertainty about Google’s purchase of Fitbit, the tech giant announced this Thursday that the deal is closed. Promised are new equipment and services that aim to improve the health, success, happiness and knowledge of users, as well as ensuring the privacy of customer data.
The announcement comes from Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of equipment and services at Google, who welcomes Fitbit’s “talented team”, a company he defines as an “industry pioneer”. The figure was not revealed, but in any case, in 2019 Google referred to $ 2.1 billion.
According to Rick Osterloh, Google will work in partnership with Fitbit to create new equipment and services. But, and after all the questions related to the privacy of Fitbit customers, the representative of the technology giant guarantees that there is a “commitment to protect health information and put you (the consumer) in control of your data”.
“This agreement has always been about equipment, not data, and we made it clear from the beginning that we are going to protect the privacy of Fitbit customers,” said Rick Osterloh.
From privacy concerns to approval of the acquisition by Europe
In 2019 Google announced its intention to buy the electronic and fitness equipment company. Since then, the business has been subject to scrutiny by regulators.
At the time, Google clarified that “Fitbit’s health and wellness data will not be used to target Google ads”. However, in February of this year the European Data Protection Board stressed that Google’s collection and treatment of sensitive information was incompatible with the “fundamental right to privacy”.
After having postponed the opinion on the acquisition of Fitbit by Google, the European Commission approved in December the deal proposal, but with commitments for the technological giant. The compromises, which go far beyond privacy, will determine how Google can use the data collected for advertising purposes and how the interoperability between competing wearables and Android will be protected. The regulation also defines how users can continue to share health and fitness data, if they so wish.