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Google will continue to protect Fitbit users’ privacy, Fitbit CEO writes open letter to users

The Fitbit CEO told users that Google's acquisition will help them innovate faster, provide more choices, and make even better products. 

An employee uses an electrocardiogram function on a Fitbit smartwatch at the IFA consumer technology fair, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany September 3, 2020. 
An employee uses an electrocardiogram function on a Fitbit smartwatch at the IFA consumer technology fair, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany September 3, 2020.  (REUTERS)

Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit is complete. While probes on this acquisition are still going on in Australia and the US, Europe has cleared it. The major concern for Google buying Fitbit is that with this acquisition, Google might block Fitbit rivals from connecting to phones running Android.

Such concerns are perhaps justified given that Google is facing lawsuits in the US against its anti-competitive behaviour with the chances of one more lawsuit being added to the list regarding its Play Store.

Also Read: Google completes its acquisition of Fitbit

However, Fitbit CEO James Park has written an open letter to all Fitbit users assuring that their data will be protected. He also added in the letter that Fitbit devices will continue to work with both Android and iOS platforms.

Here’s what Park wrote:

I’m writing today to let you know that Fitbit is now officially part of Google. It’s an incredibly exciting moment for us as a company and for our Fitbit community of users around the globe.

When Eric and I founded Fitbit 13 years ago, we did so with a simple, but bold idea: to make everyone in the world healthier. Since shipping the original Fitbit tracker in 2009 to now having sold more than 120 million devices in over 100 countries, this mission has never wavered. Instead, millions of you joined that mission and made Fitbit a movement that transformed lives. In some cases, we heard from our users that we even helped save lives. Together, we’ve taken 275 trillion steps and logged over 15 billion hours of sleep.

This is just the beginning because becoming part of the Google family means we can do even more to inspire and motivate you on your journey to better health. We’ll be able to innovate faster, provide more choices, and make even better products to support your health and wellness needs. On our own, we pushed the bounds of what was possible from the wrist, pioneering step, heart rate, sleep and stress tracking. With access to Google’s incredible resources, knowledge and global platform, the possibilities are truly limitless.

I have no doubt that this acquisition will create so many opportunities. But I also want you to know that many of the things you know and love about Fitbit will remain the same. We’ll stay committed to doing what’s right, to putting your health and wellness at the center of everything we do and to offering a no-one-size-fits-all approach with choices that work across both Android and iOS.

The trust of our users will continue to be paramount, and we will maintain strong data privacy and security protections, giving you control of your data and staying transparent about what we collect and why. Google will continue to protect Fitbit users’ privacy and has made a series of binding commitments with global regulators, confirming that Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads and this data will be kept separate from other Google ad data. Google also affirmed it will continue to allow Fitbit users to choose to connect to third party services. That means you’ll still be able to connect your favorite health and wellness apps to your Fitbit account. These and other commitments by Google reinforce why Google is an ideal partner for Fitbit who will continue to put our users first and help further our mission to make everyone in the world healthier.

Thank you for letting us be part of your lives and your health journey.

Sincerely,

James Park

CEO, President & Co-Founder

Rick Osterloh, SVP, Devices and Services at Google, also wrote a blog post talking about the acquisition. You can read that here.

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