Fitbit users must sign in with a Google Account starting in 2023

Google bought Fitbit in 2021, but until recently it would have been easy to miss that the two had joined forces. It was only recently that the ‘Fitbit by Google’ branding rolled out shortly after the company launched new wearables.

Unfortunately, it won’t be like that for long.

9to5Google discovered a new Fitbit support site that dives into the details of switching to Google accounts on Fitbit. The short version starts “sometime in 2023”, Fitbit will make it possible to use a Google account to log into Fitbit.

On the surface, it sounds pretty innocent — people want the option to sign in with their Google account instead of creating a Fitbit account. Except, it won’t be like that. Elsewhere in the document it says:

“After we launch Google Accounts on Fitbit in 2023, some uses of Fitbit requires a Google accountincluding to sign up for Fitbit or enable newly released Fitbit devices and features.” (emphasis ours)

And if you choose to continue using a Fitbit account, you’ll only be able to do so “as long as it’s supported,” which Google promises will “continue until at least early 2025.” After that, Fitbit users must use a Google account. The search giant promises to be “transparent” with users about the timeline for closing Fitbit accounts. What do you get for switching to Google Accounts on Fitbit? Well, according to the support page:

“Google Accounts on Fitbit will support a number of benefits for Fitbit users, including a single sign-in to Fitbit and other Google services, industry-leading account security, centralized privacy controls for Fitbit user data, and more features from Google on Fitbit.”

One benefit of this is a binding condition imposed on Google for the Fitbit acquisition to proceed was that Google could not use Fitbit health and wellness data for its advertising business. However, it is worth noting that the condition was imposed by the EU and applies to users in the European Economic Area (EEA). The support document implies that the commitment applies to all Fitbit users — Mobile syrup have contacted Fitbit to get clarification on this.

Overall, the change isn’t surprising, though it’s certainly a bummer for anyone who wanted to keep their Fitbit and Google data separate (technically, it will still be separate, as the binding obligations also require Google to keep Fitbit data in a “data” silo” separate from other Google data, at least in the EU).

You can read the support document yourself here.

Source: Fitbit Via: 9to5Google

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