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Why the Google Fitbit deal matters – and what you should do




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Google is buying Fitbit for $ 2.1

billion, and many people are taking this step CNBC reported on November 17 Some Fitbit users had been looking for an alternative when they learned of Google's plans to acquire the company.

Citing privacy concerns, many considered the Apple Watch a safer option than theirs Fitbit Google explicitly stated in its announcement that it will not sell people's personal or health information.

Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of equipment and services, said in a blog released on November 1, that the company would drive its ambitions for its Wear Watch smartwatch software.

But on Twitter security expert Tanya Janca said: "Dear @fitbit, I do not want my data I agree with being transmitted to Google. With the news of acquiring your business, I intend to sell my Fitbit and delete my account. How can I make sure that none of the data I was allowed to collect gets into her hands?

I have asked Google for a comment and will update this article if answered.

Can you trust Google with your health information?

So are people's concerns justified? Maybe. Imagine the power you could theoretically give a company whose search engine has collected all your nightly health-related googling if it could combine that data with information collected on your Fitbit.

Of course it might be useful to gain insight into your health, but it is important that you trust the company that collects this highly sensitive data.

Google says it will comply with the relevant data protection laws that are regulated in Europe by the relatively strict EU update of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Despite emerging privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the US is still far behind its European counterparts.

Last week, Google's partnership with healthcare company Ascension revealed access to numerous US citizens' health data. The Wall Street Journal reported that the machine learning-based project, codenamed Nightingale, was based on "dozens of millions" of Google's secretly collected medical records with test results, prescriptions, and more.

Google and Ascension stated that the rules are being adhered to – this would seem to serve as a tool for physicians to diagnose illnesses or prescribe medicines.

Ultimately, it depends on who you trust. Google has previously been targeted by its own users. As with its competitors Apple and Amazon, it was discovered that Google contractors were listening to the recordings of its Google Home smart speaker device.

Due to the tight integration of its services, the Google homepage has access to your Google searches, unless you explicitly disable them in your privacy settings.

In the meantime, Google's Chrome browser is also being criticized for changes called Manifest V3. Preventing some ad blocking work soon. According to Google, the changes will increase user security, but many users have decided to switch to Firefox before the changes take effect.

In a brave new world of data, companies like Google and Facebook rely on user information throughout their business model. When violations and scandals occur more frequently than ever, it is not easy to find out who to trust.

Apple knows this and has started to make progress on its privacy policy with a host of new features in iOS 13 and a website to help users gain control over their data.

It is understandable that many users are considering replacing their Fitbit with an Apple Watch, despite the huge price hike. People want smart appliances to be good for their health and well-being. However, it is time to consider how this data is used and to ensure that large companies know that users will not tolerate abuse.

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Google is buying Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion, and the move feels very uncomfortable for many people, and on November 17, CNBC reported that some Fitbit users would have searched for an alternative as soon as they heard of Google's plans to acquire the company.

Relying on privacy concerns, many considered the Apple Watch a safer option than their Fitbit, although Google specifically stated in its announcement In a blog released on November 1, Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google, said the company is embracing its ambition for its smartwatch software Wear drive OS.

But on Twitter security expert Tanya Janca said: "Dear @fitbit, I do not want my data that I agree to capture being transferred to Google. With the news of acquiring your business, I intend to sell my Fitbit and delete my account. How can I make sure that none of the data I was allowed to collect gets into her hands?

I have asked Google for a comment and will update this article if answered.

Can you trust Google with your health information?

So are people's concerns justified? Maybe. Imagine the power you could theoretically give a company whose search engine has collected all your nightly health-related googling if it could combine that data with information collected on your Fitbit.

Of course it might be useful to gain insight into your health, but it is important that you trust the company that collects this highly sensitive data.

Google says it will comply with the relevant data protection laws that are regulated in Europe by the relatively strict EU update of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Despite emerging privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the US is still far behind its European counterparts.

Last week, Google's partnership with healthcare company Ascension revealed access to numerous US citizens' health data. The Wall Street Journal reported that the machine learning-based project, codenamed Nightingale, was based on "dozens of millions" of Google's secretly collected medical records with test results, prescriptions, and more.

Google and Ascension stated that the rules are being adhered to – this would seem to serve as a tool for physicians to diagnose illnesses or prescribe medicines.

Ultimately, it depends on who you trust. Google has previously been targeted by its own users. As with its competitors Apple and Amazon, it was discovered that Google contractors were listening to the recordings of its Google Home smart speaker device.

Due to the tight integration of its services, the Google homepage has access to your Google searches, unless you explicitly disable them in your privacy settings.

In the meantime, Google's Chrome browser is also being criticized for changes called Manifest V3. Preventing some ad blocking work soon. According to Google, the changes will increase user security, but many users have decided to switch to Firefox before the changes take effect.

In a brave new world of data, companies like Google and Facebook rely on user information throughout their business model. When violations and scandals occur more frequently than ever, it is not easy to find out who to trust.

Apple knows this and has started to make progress on its privacy policy with a host of new features in iOS 13 and a website to help users gain control over their data.

It is understandable that many users are considering replacing their Fitbit with an Apple Watch, despite the huge price hike. People want smart appliances to be good for their health and well-being. However, it is time to consider how this data is used and to ensure that large companies know that users will not tolerate abuse.


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