Most of the online chatter about how exactly Google buying Fitbit is a crisis waiting to occur has died down. That’s great in some ways while being bad consist of ways. It seems all good crises are usually that way. With the dust settled, We’ve spent some time looking at how everything played out and have come to the things i think is a group of interesting findings: a lot of people do not like Google at the corporation level, and a lot of other people try to cash in on that fact.
You shouldn’t blindly trust Google with regards to your data. The minute we stop wondering is the minute it can do what ever it likes.
It’s perfectly OK, even healthy, not to like Google. What the company will to make money can seem sneaky or perhaps dangerous. When a single company may build such a strong and well-fitting profile on us through information collection, being uneasy is a good point. Even if you have a good understanding of exactly how Google does what it does, and much more importantly why it does it the way in which it does, skepticism is warranted. I personally use Google products and understand the value of the things i give for the services I join return but still don’t like giving a lot away.
But that’s not exactly what I’m discussing here. I’m talking about people who aren’t quite sure exactly how Google makes money, only to possess the company buy out their favorite fitness wearable manufacturer. Those folks have tons of data stored through Fitbit and are rightly concerned about what Search engines is going to do with it all. That’s healthful concern and I wish more individuals cared enough to have it. Issue is you, the tl;dr is the fact that Google will let you yank it all away if you like, but if a person, they aren’t going to monetize one of the data you’ve previously stored.
This sort of concern just becomes a problem because of the misinformation that will surrounds it. You’ve likely observed a social media post about how Search engines is so evil it will sell all of your health data away now that they have purchased Fitbit (assuming regulatory acceptance is given). Some of these postings are usually from people who know better, but additionally know that feeding into user worries is a great way to promote yourself or even your company. The same way that the “Apple is killing the planet by using rare-earth metals” is designed to confirm your bias, posts or posts like “Google right now has all your health data and you ought to be terrified” is. Both are usually nonsense and I am disappointed in several people about what I’ve observed in this space.
But it works. Telling customers that Google plans to sell your wellbeing data or show you personalized advertisements for health products is done mainly because at some level, we’re all concerned about how Google operates and what it might do. Except, it won’t do something stupid and probably can’t. That isn’t a matter of the public trust, either. That might be too easy to ignore. It’s an issue of cold, hard cash.
Here are some things we all need to remember about how Google handles the absurd amount of data it harvests through us all:
- Google does not market data, because that data after that becomes useless for AdSense. AdSense is profitable because Google may serve ads of interest to every consumer. If it sells user data, an additional company would be able to do the same thing.
- Google takes very good care of consumer data and spends millions each year to keep it safe. See above to comprehend why. This data is important, possibly more valuable than getting for services would be. Google needs to take care of it and there has by no means been a major data breach of the Google server.
- Google has to abide by laws and regulations that protect our data, such as HIPAA for medical data plus COPPA for data collection from kids.
None of this makes Search engines the good guy. None of this should allow you to think Google is the good man, either. That’s because Google can be most decidedly not the good man — it’s simply another company that has found a really good way of earning money, but it just so happens the fact that method is scary. Want to hear something different scary? Fitbit was not going to are much more robust. It could have been liquidated and your information auctioned off along with bins associated with springs and office furniture.
It could be worse — your own Fitbit data could have been auctioned away along with the office chairs and coffee maker.
I’m not seeking to convince anyone to not be afraid of Search engines holding your data. I choose to exchange the data with Google because I actually value the services it provides and rely on that my data will be held anonymized and secured. Yet there is certainly some data I try and avoid Google because I’m uneasy about this having access to everything.
I believe everyone needs to try and understand what Search engines does, how it does it, plus make their own decision. Nothing I actually do should weigh into it, but I actually do want to help keep people informed regarding their privacy and data legal rights.
A bit of Fitness
Can this save Wear OS?
The Fitbit 2 is an excellent wearable with an AMOLED display, FitBit Pay, and outstanding battery life. This just needs better software, which is something Google can deliver.
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