Google takeover of Fitbit: Groups worried about privacy, competition issues
January 21, 2021

Google takeover of Fitbit: Advocacy groups worried about privacy, competition issues

WASHINGTON (US) – Advocacy organisations from the US, Europe and Latin America came out with a statement on Wednesday warning regulators about Google’s $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit Inc as there are issues related to privacy and competition.

As many as 20 advocacy groups, including US-based Public Citizen, Access Now from Europe and the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense, said the pact would further enhance the Google’s influence in digital markets.

They believe that acquiring Fitbit would enable Google to mine user information about the number of steps they take daily, sleep quality and heart beat rate.

“Past experience shows that regulators must be very wary of any promises made by merging parties about restricting the use of the acquisition target’s data. Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilize the entirety of Fitbit’s currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own,” mentioned the groups.

“This deal is about devices, not data,” said the Google spokeswoman. “We believe the combination of Google’s and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector.”

The bid was announced in November.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field

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