Google’s takeover of Fitbit causing worries over privacy

The wearable technology is growing in popularity but many fear what will happen to the data collected.
By: | November 20, 2019

When search engine giant Google announced it was buying Fitbit for US$2.1 billion, there were concerns about data privacy given Google’s track record. The Apple Watch could be an unintended beneficiary of these suspicions.

Although Google immediately announced that it would not sell people’s personal or health information, there is still a big question mark over trust.

Employers like Fitbit and other wearable tech as it offers useful insights into the health, activity and productivity of their staff. But what ultimately happens to this data once it’s given to Google is now a grey area.

Google has come under fire in the past from consumers. Like rivals Apple and Amazon, it was discovered that contractors were listening to recordings from Google Home, its smart speaker device.

As Google grows its empires and becomes more integrated, it is collecting more and more personal data about users. Google’s Chrome browser has also come under fire as a new version will prevent some ad blockers from working.

While employers may want smart devices to track their employees’ health and well-being, they also need to consider how that data is being used. Firms such as Google and Facebook base their entire business models around users’ information, so the more they get the better.