Late last year Google purchased Fitbit pending approval from various regulatory bodies. The approval is still yet to arrive and the biggest threat to the purchase is the European Commission’s investigation into the acquisition. Google have come out on the front foot promising not to use the data acquired by Fitbit for ads.
Reuters are reporting that Google are pledging not to use the data acquired with Fitbit devices to target ads at individuals with such a pledge expected to help secure EU approval for the acquisition of Fitbit.
“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,” a Google spokesperson
The deal will give Google access to Fitbit’s 3% of the wearables market and a treasure trove of data leading to concerns from privacy advocates that the data may be used by Google to “boost its dominance in advertising and search”.
Following Google’s pledge the European Commission has pushed its deadline for a decision out to August 4 with feedback encouraged from rival companies and users. After any such further submissions the Commission will decide whether to approve the deal, demand more concessions or open an investigation expected to take four months.
We are unsure just how binding a pledge by Google will be for the future but you would think that the European Commission would come down hard on Google should they take a step in the wrong direction. For users such as us the merger, now with a promise of being about the devices, looks like it could be a shot in the arm that Wear OS needs desperately.
It is unclear whether Google will leave Fitbit as it is or bring their IP into the Wear OS ecosystem to further their goals there. Whatever the case it will take a while for any results to come to fruition so don’t go holding your breath.