He reiterated the promise that Fitbit users’ information will be stored separately from Google data and will not be used to personalize ads.
Google announced plans to take over Fitbit for a good two billion dollars in November 2019. In December 2020, the EU Commission’s competition watchdogs approved the deal – linked to the promise of data separation. However, European privacy advocates had previously warned that further accumulation of user information in the hands of a large tech company would in any case pose a risk to privacy protection. “This deal was always about devices and not about data,” assured Osterloh in a blog entry.
Fitbit pioneered the business of fitness bracelets that count steps and calories burned. However, this business has meanwhile been rolled out from two directions: Apple is very successful with its Apple Watch computer clock, which also has various fitness functions – and cheap devices from China, especially from Xiaomi, dominate simple bracelets. That opened the door for Google’s takeover. The Internet group develops the dominant smartphone operating system Android. In the case of computer watches, however, the specialized Android Wear system remained less successful.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210114-99-29390 / 2