Fitbit Says Data of Its 28 Million Users Will Not Be Sold Or Used For Google Ads

After acquiring Fitbit for $2.1 billion last week, many users were left wondering if Google would have access to their health information, such as the number of steps they take each day, their breathing patterns, sleep quality or menstrual cycles. Fitbit has since addressed those concerns in a blog post, claiming user data would not be sold or used for Google advertising. “Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change,” the company said in a statement. From a report: Google already keeps a trove of information on people, including location data, search history and YouTube viewing history. The company also creates advertisement profiles of users based on information such as location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income. Even if Google claims it won’t use Fitbit health data for advertising, the acquisition is probably bad for user privacy, said Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate with Comparitech. Just because the companies say user data will not be used for advertising now does not mean that won’t change, he said.

“Fitbit says health and wellness data will not be used for advertising, but that leaves plenty of other information for Google to gather, including users’ locations, device info, friends’ lists, messages, profile photos, participation in employee wellness programs, and usage logs,” he said.

The report notes that users can delete their accounts via the Fitbit website. The company said it would then permanently delete data associated with the account after a seven-day grace period.