Home | About | Donate

"Not Just a Business Deal, It's a Data Grab": Privacy Advocates Sound Alarm on Google's Acquisition of FitBit

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/04/not-just-business-deal-its-data-grab-privacy-advocates-sound-alarm-googles

1 Like

Why in the world are people even buying and using FitBit? Or any Google product? This seems insane to me. This is not just a problem of what Google does with the data they collect. It’s that their primary purpose is to sell our data. It’s also a problem of why people even buy these gadgets and give this data to them in the first place.

How is this even legal that the GOVERNMENT, along with these gigantic corporations can even collect, share, and store ALL of our personal data?

We live in a democracy of, by, and for the people? “1984” is here in 2019.

6 Likes

It is assumed this data was safe & private and everything was peachy until big, bad Google moved in on it. I remember when FitBit became a thing, and all the normies hopped on board and thought it was great. I thought it was unnecessary & potentially Orwellian.

It was & it is. None of our data is safe & private, even if Google isn’t involved.

Let’s get real here.

3 Likes

Jen Simmons:
“I don’t understand why all of the tech press stories today talk about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit as a hardware acquisition. Why are they being so naïve?”

Who’s being naïve here? You think the tech press is anything more than a cheerleading entity for “new” tech products, paid off by industry insiders?
All of the people using these data mining products, sold as beneficial to their lives, will someday very soon, regret they made the choice to give their personal information to these deep state partnered companies.

3 Likes

I don’t know how I manage to survive. I exercise a lot, and remember the exercise data or write it down. No need for FitShit.
I don’t have a cell phone.
Have never sent or received a text. Yay!
Never a member of Facebook, Twitter, dating sites or any other ego-driven social media bullshit.
I would never trust Zuckerberg or anybody else with any info about me.
The sad thing is that the TrumpenReich is probably tracking the more radical progressive comments and commenters here at CD and other progressive sites, getting our IP addresses, and compiling a hit list.
Every time I say something like, “Trump deserves to meet the same fate as the elites experienced in the French Revolution,” some little NSA kid is probably flagging me. Oh well.

2 Likes

Ah yes, democracy. The very source of the word, Ancient Athens. The concept. Rule by the people. The irony is that in ancient Athens 1/3 of the people were slaves. Not so unlike the start of the US and the Declaration of Independence and then the Constitution - freedom with slaves.
FitBit - free to move while “data chained.”

2 Likes

You are absolutely correct. Every post you make on the internet, every purchase you made, every website you clicked on, can be used to track you down through your IP address and your internet service provider. By collecting all of this “meta data” any corporation, government office, or casual acquaintance on Facebook can paint a picture of you and your life, what you’ve done, what you’re doing now, and what you are thinking about doing tomorrow.
Going back to the 1980’s I had always thought that the computer age was going to make a “1984” type of surveillance state relatively easy to establish. Little did I know just how easy it would become, especially with the advent of “social networking” sites where individuals would gleefully volunteer all their personal information and innermost thoughts on a public forum. The NSA, CIA, Google, or Apple, don’t have to bug your personal electronic devices. They just have to look.
The scary part is that millennials and genZers have grown up in a world where there is no longer any assumption of privacy. They just assume that everybody knows everything they know, naively believing that, if all information about all people is out there in cyberspace, then no one will have an advantage over anybody else.
Just what Big Brother wants us to think.

4 Likes

For those of us who don’t believe that we are being watched 24/7, just try this experiment. Go to your chosen search engine and type in “toaster”. Then watch as you are inundated with pop up ads for toasters for the foreseeable future. Then you will be hit with ads for other kitchen appliances. Then will come anything linked to any of those items.
This Fitbit thing is just the next logical step. Google will collect this data and sell it to medical corporations and insurance companies. They will then begin targeting you specifically, most likely in the form of higher premiums, higher copays, or flat out cancellations of your policy.
This Fitbit info is an actuaries wet dream.

4 Likes

This quickly extends beyond one’s own searches/devices, I might add.

I’m a 60-year-old male with no history of cross-dressing, yet I’ll go through stretches of pop-up ads pushing women’s shoes and other clothing my way. Turns out my adult daughter, who lives elsewhere in the community but who connects her devices through our wi-fi/router during periodic visits, has been searching for those exact (or similar) items.

3 Likes

Funny, I have the same thing happen to me. It may have just been an inadvertent click on one of those ads at the side of the page.
I get pop ups from a plus size women’s outlet. While I am 6’5 and go about 250, and I feel would make a feminine outfit totally rock, I’ve never quite leaned that way:)
Maybe I’m giving the wrong vibe to some internet algorithm. Don’t tell my wife.

3 Likes

I got off on an info-in-general tangent last night under a Dean Baker article here at Common Dreams Mark Zuckerberg Is a Rich Jerk

2 Likes

I thought I could reset the targeted ads by clearing all cookies recently, and I found at least some of the targeted ads still there. They must be saving my search history on their end. And I don’t use Google for searching, I only use https://duckduckgo.com/, so they either remember I searched for toasters on their site, or they bought my data from other sites I searched. At this point, anything’s possible.

Duck is usually better on politics, though G is good too when it comes to items covered by The Intercept. Neither are good at finding items covered on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. And neither can seem to find any human rights violations by the current Ukraine gov…only the Russians are doing that in Crimea according to what the engines turn up. I came across one exception, which cited a piece in The Duran from 2016.

1 Like

Thanks to comment artiste beantime for sending me to this article of a few days ago.

Cyber Mercenaries pose national security threats, corporate security threats, oligarch threats but also pose mortal threat to homeless working job-seekers or those seeking shelter for night:

Current and past Attorney General Bill Barr’s role in suppressing the Jack Brooks (D-TX) Congressional Investigation Report into the PROMIS software and INSLAW scandal and court cases. Irony doesn’t begin to describe the ways in which this iconic VILLAGE VOICE archive recap by Frank Snepp would conclude that in reviewing the case against the House of Bush we throw our federal doors open to the House of Clinton!!!:
https://www.villagevoice.com/2019/04/18/attorney-general-william-barr-is-the-best-reason-to-vote-for-clinton/

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters & Shifters
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List