Fitbit takeover by google worries consumer users

The planned takeover of fitness watch manufacturer fitbit by online giant google worries consumer and data protection experts worldwide. Google could use fitbit’s valuable health and position data to strengthen its already dominant position in the market for online advertising, 20 organizations warned in a joint statement on thursday.

Antitrust, supervisory and data protection authorities worldwide had to pay the utmost attention to this, demanded, among others, the european consumer association beuc, the u.S. Consumer association and the data protection organization european digital rights.

At the beginning of november last year, google had announced plans to take over fitbit for a good two billion dollars. It was agreed that the data of the fitness specialist will not be used for personalized advertising. Earlier this year, european privacy advocates warned that yet another collection of user information in the hands of a big tech company poses a risk to the protection of privacy.

According to a report in the "financial times" on thursday, the EU commission’s competition watchdogs signaled their intention to investigate the planned takeover more closely. According to the report, the brussels authorities sent questionnaires to google’s and fitbit’s rivals asking, among other things, whether the takeover would destroy competition and whether it would give google access to data it could use to improve its advertising business. A spokeswoman for the EU commission declined to comment on the report when asked.

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