On May 14th BEUC, the European consumer group, warned that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit would change the rules of the game in the digital health market, hurt consumers and hinder innovation. In a recent open letter from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the agency took the same view, hoping to block Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and to get support from users who had previously bought Fitbit products.
More specifically, the EFF believes that only Fitbit users can help block the acquisition, and has sent a soul-calling question to Fitbit users. “Is one of the reasons you buy Fitbit products is not to share more data with Google?” asked the EFF. Does Google’s acquisition of Fitbit give you the feeling that you can’t escape the clutches of Google’s data collection? “
The EFF says the tech giants don’t necessarily invest in innovation, but prefer to buy companies that can fuel innovation. “Google’s two iconic projectsearches and Gmail are in-house projects, but the vast majority of other productsuccesses have been acquired from other companies,” says eff. “
The EFF continued: “Now Google is trying to repeat itself in the Fitbit play, which will allow the dominant wearable fitness tracking company to disappear into Google plex, which collects a large amount of sensitive data from users.” “
Google announced the deal in November, buying Fitbit, which is trying to compete with Apple and Samsung in the highly competitive fitness tracker and smartwatch market. Huawei and Xiaomi are also major competitors in this area.
Critics, however, say the acquisition of Fitbit will give the US tech giant access to vast amounts of health data. The data comes from Fitbit’s fitness tracker and other devices used to monitor users’ daily steps, calories and distance travel.