Google says it will not use Fitbit data for ad targeting

Last week we reported on EU regulators wanting to take a closer look at Google’s proposed $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit.

The regulators were particularly interested in what Google planned to do with the user data that Fitbit gathers from its devices, and specifically whether it could be used for targeting advertising to people in the region.

In order to avoid any such antitrust probe from the European Union, Google has preemptively stated that it will not be using the data for targeted advertising, according to a report from Reuters.

“This deal is about devices, not data. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising,” an unnamed Google spokesperson told Reuters in an official statement.

Prior to outlining its intention when it comes to data, Google had until 13th July to issue its concessions for the proposed acquisition, and now the EU has until 20th July to reach a decision.

As such, Google being so forthcoming about its plan may not have necessarily avoided an antitrust probe, but as Reuters points out, if the company is indeed focusing on devices and not data, why go with Fitbit?

This as the company had a 3 percent share of the wearables market during the first quarter of 2020, with Apple leading by quite some distance at 29.3 percent. The likes of Samsung and Huawei are also ahead of Fitbit in that regard.

It remains to be seen what happens with this acquisition, but we should have a clearer idea of the outcome by this time next week.

Either way, what Google’s larger plan for Fitbit and its devices are, is still unclear for now.

While we wait for that outcome, we’ve also recently reviewed the Fitbit Charge 4, which with the addition of built-in GPS is a wholly different fitness tracker compared to its predecessor.


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