Google is & nbsp; buying Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion and the move makes many people feel On November 17, & nbsp; CNBC & nbsp; reported that some Fitbit users had started looking for an alternative as soon as they heard about Google's plans to acquire the company. & nbsp;
citing privacy concerns, many considered Apple Watch a safer alternative than their Fitbit, even though Google explicitly stated in its announcement that it would not sell people's personal or health information. & nbsp;
Rick Osterloh, senior vice president president, entities and services at Google said via & nbsp; and blog & nbsp; announced on November 1 that the deal would see the company promote its ambitions for its smartwatch software Wear OS. & Nbsp;
But on Twitter said: "19459021] security expert Tanya Janca & nbsp;" Dear @fitbit, I do not want my data that I agreed to collect transfer to Google. With news of the acquisition of your company, I intend to sell my Fitbit and delete my account. How do I ensure that none of the information I allowed you to collect ends up in their hands? "
I have contacted Google to comment and will update this story if it answers. & Nbsp;
Can you trust Google with your health data?
So are people's concerns valid? Maybe so. Imagine the power you could in theory give to a company whose search engine has collected all your health-related Googling late at night when it could combine this information with information collected on your Fitbit.
Of course, there could be useful insights about your health, but it is integrated that you trust the company to collect these very sensitive information. & nbsp;
Google says it will follow the relevant privacy laws, which in Europe are governed by the rather stringent EU update to the General Data Protection Regulation (BRP). Despite emerging privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the United States is still far behind its European counterparts.
Last week, it emerged that Google's partnership with healthcare company Ascension made it possible to access large trays of US citizens' health data. & Nbsp; Wall Street Journal & nbsp; reported that the machine learning-based project, codenamed Nightingale, was based on "tens of millions" of medical data secretly harvested by Google and containing test results, recipes and more.
This information – which both Google and Ascension said complies with the regulations – would apparently be used to create a tool for medical personnel to help diagnose a condition or prescribe drugs.
In the end, it comes to who you trust. Google has come under fire from its own users in the past. Like its rivals Apple & Amazon and Amazon, it was discovered that & nbsp; Google Entrepreneurs listened to & nbsp; to recordings of their Google Home smart speaker device. & Nbsp;
Due to the close integration of its services, Google Home has access to your Google searches unless you specifically disable this in your privacy settings.
At the same time, Google's Chrome browser is also being criticized for changes called Manifest V3 that will soon prevent any ad blockers from working. Google says the changes will improve user security, but many users have & nbsp; chosen to switch to Firefox & nbsp; before the changes take effect. & Nbsp;
In a brave new world of data, companies like Google and & nbsp; Facebook & nbsp; bases its entire business models around users' information. When transgressions and scandals occur more often than ever, it is not easy to find out who to trust.
It is therefore understandable that many users can think of switching their Fitbit for an Apple Watch, despite the huge price increase. People want smart devices to take care of their health and well-being, but it's time to consider how that information is used and make sure the big companies know that users won't be responsible for any abuse. [Nbsp;