Google just acquired Fitbit

1 min read

Georgia Iacovou

04 Nov 2019

Which means they also acquired the health data points of 28m users

People loved Fitbit because it was easy to use and affordable, but now they might just be throwing them in the bin in the name of privacy concerns.

The thing about wearables like Fitbit is that they are quite literally designed to continuously track and log data that pertains directly to your health: how many steps did you take today? What’s your resting heart rate? How many hours of sleep do you get on average?

These kinds of data points are great for you personally if you want to get healthier, establish some kind of routine, or just keep track. So in that sense, it has value for the individual.

☝️ But health data also has unbelievable value for companies, especially when:

The data points produced by one Fitbit user are valuable to only that user — in relative terms, that value comes nowhere near the value Google will get out of the collective Fitibit data.

A fitbit with beams coming off it

So on the one hand, the Fitbit enabled you to lower your resting heart rate. And on the other, much larger hand, Google can now monetise your wellbeing by making accurate predictions about your health and selling you products or ideas that are designed to prolong your life.

There’s no doubt that Google will probably do a lot to improve what Fitbits can do. They’ve also said they won’t sell Fitbit data, but that’s hard to believe considering the fine tapestry of antitrust fines they’ve woven for themselves over the years.

The question we’re left with is: did Google really ‘acquire Fitbit’ or did they simply finally get their hands on a fresh new batch of health data that they previously never had access to?

the author

Georgia Iacovou

Content Writer, Metomic