Google is buying Fitbit – What does this mean for your Privacy?
I trust we are all by now becoming a little protective over our personal information? If not yet, look at this latest Google acquisition… Already under Anti-trust scrutiny, already some Privacy investigations happening. Now they will have insight into our health? Is this simply to compete with Apple?
Interesting that one of the first comments from Google is “we will not use Fitbit health and wellness data for ad targeting”… Mmmhmmm? Yes right!
Are the big tech firms already too powerful? Think about the information Google already has about you. Google stores every search you do, and every Youtube you watch. This is on your phone, your tablet or your pc… regardless of whether you are logged into Google, or not! Google maps tracks your every move… where you go, when you go, what route you take, your arrival and leaving times… even if you have never used Google maps.
So do you believe, for one moment, that Google will not use our health info gathered through Fitbit?
You may be living in a bubble, and not think anything of the fact that Google is collecting all this info… What about the recent revelations that Google is selling our personal information to third parties for targeted advertising? Go to the Google Dashboard, and see what interesting information they openly store about you. Those nasty pop-ups that mysteriously follow your every mood and comment?
Want to see what Google thinks of you? Go to Ad Settings (https://adssettings.google.com/). Besides your guessed age and gender, it lists your interests… We have to do what we can to protect ourselves… Here’s how you can take steps towards privacy on Google:
- Open a browser window and navigate to your your Google Account page.
- Type your Google username (with or without “@gmail.com”).
- From the menu bar, choose Personal info and review the information. You can change or delete your photo, name, birthday, gender, password, other emails and phone number.
- If you’d like to see what information of yours is available publicly, scroll to the bottom and select Go to About me.
- You can then back out and make changes. There’s currently no way to make your account private.