From 2025, it will be mandatory to have a Google account to use a Fitbit device

The integration of Fibit, an American company marketing connected objects for health and well-being, into the bosom of Google is starting slowly. Branding “Fitbit by Google” was recently introduced, and the Sense 2 and Versa 4 smartwatches feature a user interface inspired by Wear OS 3 (Google’s mobile operating system for wearable technology).

A two-step calendar

A new stage is planned for 2025, the date from which it will no longer be possible to use a watch, activity bracelet or connected scale Fibit without having a Google account. The information was quietly slipped into a Frequently Asked Questions section on Fibit’s website, spotted by 9to5Google.

Currently, someone with a Google account does not automatically have a Fitbit account. This will be the case from 2023, specifies Google in the FAQ arguing that this merger will bring “a number of benefits for Fitbit users“, such as a connection “unique“, better security, “privacy controls” and “other features“.

Although they are strongly urged to do so, users will therefore always be free to use only their Fitbit account. On the other hand, from 2025, connected devices will no longer be able to function without a Google account. The precise timetable for this change has not yet been communicated. Fitbit promises to be “transparent” about the calendar, proof of the sensitivity of the subject. Indeed, being forced to create a Google account to use a connected watch means accepting that Google gets their hands on certain data.

Google undertakes not to use the data for advertising purposes

On this point, the Mountain View firm has made commitments. In particular, it has undertaken not to use the data collected by the connected devices to feed Google Ads, its advertising network. It was only on this condition that the European Commission approved the marriage in December 2020.

Indeed, by offering Fitbit and its treasure of data, competitors were going to find it difficult to compete with Google thus creating “barriers to entry and expansion (…) to the detriment of advertisers“. This commitment runs for ten years, renewable once if necessary. An agent is responsible for verifying its effective application.

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