This morning’s news broke about Google buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion in an effort to get into the wearable space and compete with Apple Watch.
And as you know, I am no fan of Google. Their business model, their practices, their culture just doesn’t sit right with me. They are an advertising company first and foremost, and everything they do is to get more data to sell more ads. That’s all it comes down to. When you use your phone, when you use maps, when you use Chrome, when you use Docs – everything is to get more data on you.
In fact, have a look at just how much Google’s business is based around selling your data to advertisers…
So when the company announced they are buying Fitbit, which has access to my physical data – such as heart rate, workout schedule, eating habits, body weight, activity level, and even sleep schedule, well I get a little worried. Just imagine how that could be tied into selling you ads. From gym ads, to insurance ads, to even mattress ads.
Sure, Fitbit said their personal data will not be used by Google. Just like how Nest said it will never listen to you, and yet was found to have microphones in their latest products. Whoopsie! So color me shocked when it will inevitability turn out that Google has to apologize for selling or using Fitbit data for ads.
With this in mind, and the sale going through only in 2020, I will be moving on from my Fitbit stuff. I cannot guarantee that Google will not collect this data on me, and I cannot even be sure that Fitbit will even be around in 2 years due to Google shutting them down. So why waste time investing into the ecosystem? It still gives me plenty of time to save up and move to an Apple Watch.
And this brings me to my greatest annoyance. I wanted a fit-focused ecosystem – something that works on fitness first and only. Not a fridge-toaster hybrid that does everything. Just an ecosystem that goes “here is how healthy you are and this is what you can do to be better”. And Fitbit does that wonderfully. It isn’t a smartwatch that wants you to reply to emails, or take a photo with it. The focus was its greatest selling point.
I hope the $2.1 Billion helps innovate Fitbit which in turn will innovate their competitors. I hope Fitbit will still be around in 2021. I hope Google does not abuse their purchase.
I can hope, but I do not believe any of it.