European Data Protection Board warns of the risks of Google's purchase of Fitbit

European Data Protection Board warns of the risks of Google's purchase of Fitbit

The European Data Protection Board considers that Google's acquisition of $ 2.1 billion from Fitbit could pose serious risks to the privacy of users in Europe.

It is recalled that, in November 2019, Google announced that, once the purchase was finalized, Fitbit would become part of the hardware team, leaving in the air the promise of relaunching its wearables division. However, although the Mountain View giant claims that the data collected will not be sold, the closing of the deal between companies is dependent on the scrutiny of US and European regulators.

In a statement issued after the most recent plenary session, the European Data Protection Board warns of the consequences of the merger between companies. The entity stresses that the collection and processing of data by a large technological company like Google has serious implications for the protection of users' information, being incompatible with the "fundamental right to privacy".

The Committee alerts Google and Fitbit to their obligations in the European territory, recalling the need to follow the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation and to notify the European Commission of their intensities.

In response to the position of the European Committee for Data Protection, Google underlines that the purpose of the acquisition of Fitbit is only to assist it in the process of developing wearables. Protection of user information is essential to what we do, says a spokeswoman in an international press release, adding that the company will continue to work with regulators to ensure that all of its issues are clarified.

Back in early February, Google faced scrutiny from the Irish Data Protection Commission (PLR). The regulator said it had received several complaints from European consumer protection groups regarding the way Google processes users' location data and has therefore opened a formal investigation into the company.