Earlier this month, Google's parent company, Alphabet, purchased the activity-tracking wearable manufacturer, Fitbit, for $2.1 billion. However, since the acquisition, several users have thrown their devices in the trash over concerns about privacy.
Fitbit users who use the fitness tracking devices on a daily basis to monitor data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, menstrual cycles and other fitness-related personal metrics, are worried about what Google will do with their intimate health information after its acquisition.
Although Google said in its deal announcement that it would not sell or use Fitbit users' health or personal information, the company's assurances failed to convince users from getting rid of their fitness-tracking devices.
"Time to say good bye to Fitbit, Google already collects tons of data, I don't need them selling that info to greedy health companies looking to nickle and dime me or better yet, possibly end my insurance coverage based on the info Google gives aways [sic] for $$$," wrote one user on Twitter, while another revealed that he threw his Fitbit in the trash after Google's Fitbit purchase. Check out some of the tweets below:
Some users also said they're now thinking about making the switch from Fitbit to its main rival, the Apple Watch, while others longed for the return of the early low-tech fitness-tracking days: anyone remember Pebble?
Google already stores a significant amount of information about people, including their location data, search history and YouTube viewing history. In addition, the company also creates advertisement profiles based on personal information such as location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, and income.
How to delete your Fitbit account?
If you own a Fitbit wearable and you're skeptical about Google using your personal information, you can delete your Fitbit account from either the Fitbit app on your iPhone or Android device, or through the Fitbit website.
How to Delete Fitbit app:
- Start the Fitbit App on your smartphone.
- Select the "Today" tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on your account avatar at the top left of the screen.
Choose "Manage Data."
- Hit "Delete Account" and then confirm when there's an "Are you sure?" prompt.
Delete from website:
- Go to fitbit.com using a web browse and log into your Fitbit account.
- On the dashboard screen, click on the gear icon on the top right and go to "Settings."
- At the bottom of the page you'll see a "Delete Account" link, click it and then confirm.
If you have a change of heart, don't worry. After deleting your account, you will have seven days to restore your data before it is erased permanently, after which your account cannot be recovered.