Fitbit has not been doing well in the market. Google’s takeover of Fitbit came as a relief. The last thing Fitbit needs is this sale not happening. With the U.S. Justice Department, investigating the sale, there is a possibility for the sale not to happen. There is immense pressure to call off the 15,000 crore INR deal which has resulted in additional investigation by the Justice Department.
According to the New York Post, the investigation starts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because Google’s data dealings are already part of a larger antitrust case. The issue is that Google is tracking the health data of millions of people and not everyone is happy about their personal data being used. There is a difference in other companies accessing personal health data of its users and Google accessing it. All the free services that we have and love is at the cost of the user’s privacy. Google can use the data to target us with ads, recommendations and the likes based on the personal data we share with them. People are concerned if their health data will also be used for the same. Fitbit and Google preempted this by ruling out that they use people’s health data in targeted 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. Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why. The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads,” said the company’s official statement when the deal was announced.
However, the privacy advocacy groups like Watchdog and other groups like Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy are not taking their word for it. Neither does the U.S. Government. As a result, the deal is likely to be delayed as the investigation is in process. The FTC is looking into the antitrust problems that could rise from two companies monopolising the wearable tech market. However, if the deal does not work, it will be a hard hit on Fitbit.