Google might monetise Fitbit data by expanding tiers on Premium: Report
Google had reportedly promised regulators the deal to acquire Fitbit was about device and not data, and that the customers Fitbit data would not be used for ads.
Google announced earlier this year that it had finally completed its acquisition of Fitbit and that it would be joining the company's hardware division. At the time, Google had promised regulators that it would not sell or give away users personal and health data for advertisements, so it was only a matter of time before the company found an alternative to bring the money in.
According to a report by Android Central, Google had promised the deal was about “devices, not data” and that the customers Fitbit data would not be used for ads, so it was inevitable that the company bring another way to make money from the data without handing it over to anyone else. Google is at the end of the day, with the exception of the Pixels and the Google Home devices, not a hardware company, after all.
The report says that Fitbit recently sent out a survey that supposedly reveals the company's plans for expanding the existing Fitbit Premium health service. While existing Fitbit users have the option to view far more detailed statistics about their workouts compared to free users, they can also access more personalised workout plans, meditation and fitness programs. However, the expansion of the Premium tier might bring more change to those plans.
If users were to remain on the cheapest tier under the new system that is suggested in the survey according to the report, users who were on the free tier would lose access to their past health data, something which they have always had access to. The report adds that the free tier would probably offer limited historical data but you would probably no longer be able to check stats from a few months or a year ago. However, we won't know anything for sure, until Google makes an official statement or announces any plans with regard to Fitbit's future pricing.