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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ditching Fitbit

I wouldn't wear a Fitbit regularly anymore now that Google has purchased them. And I certainly wouldn't have an account tied to it recording my data:
When Mike Carpenter learned Google’s latest acquisition would be Fitbit, the maker of a device he wore at all hours of the day except in the shower, he left his Fitbit Charge 3 on the table at his office where he was working that day. He, and others like him, haven’t picked it up since.

On Nov. 1, Google said would be buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion in hopes of boosting its hardware business getting a foothold in the health space. Google explicitly said in the announcing the deal that it won’t sell users' personal or health data. Despite that assurance, some Fitbit users say they don’t trust the company, and are shedding the product altogether.

“I’m not only afraid of what they can do with the data currently, but what they can do with it once their AI advances in 10 or 20 years,” Carpenter told CNBC, saying he didn’t believe the company’s privacy assurances. “Health insurance companies would love to get their hands on that data and their purposes wouldn’t be advertising so is that what they are going to do with it? They didn’t spend the money to not utilize it in some way.”

The trend of people throwing or threatening to throw out their Fitbit devices comes as Google faces a perception problem that has spanned everyday users and regulators alike. The company has paid data privacy fines in the EU and made recent strides into the stringently regulated healthcare industry, which has caused the public to re-think seemingly harmless tools.

“I only recently got it and now I’m thinking I don’t need Google watching literally my every step or my every heartbeat,” said Dan Kleinman, who said he is getting rid of his Fitbit Versa.
Any benefit of knowing that information is significantly outweighed by the disadvantage of Google also having it

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55 Comments:

Blogger Longtime Lurker November 21, 2019 8:08 AM  

They didn't need Fitbit before Google stepped in. Eat less. Walk/swim more. Works like a charm.

Blogger Z MAlfoy November 21, 2019 8:24 AM  

I used a fitbit for a while, primarily to track heart rate while exercising, and to track sleep patterns over a longer term. Got the data I needed, and then stopped wearing it right about when this news came out. Haven't touched it since.

Blogger spinoza November 21, 2019 8:28 AM  

Longtime Lurker wrote:They didn't need Fitbit before Google stepped in. Eat less. Walk/swim more. Works like a charm.

salty or chemical?

Blogger JACIII November 21, 2019 8:34 AM  

Where's the open source LAN AI I was promised with my flying car? All these modern data tools would be immensely helpful to an individual if he can weed Big Brother out of the loop.

Google should, at least, be forced to drive their stupid little cars around to steal your data.

Blogger spinoza November 21, 2019 8:41 AM  

"I only

The omnicron is showing

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei November 21, 2019 8:43 AM  

Google explicitly said in the announcing the deal that it won’t sell users' personal or health data.

Wonder if anyone at Google grasped that the fact they felt the need to explicitly state this is why no one believes it.

Blogger Damelon Brinn November 21, 2019 8:46 AM  

Yeah, you don't need a conspiracy theorist, or even much imagination, to see the future of bundling health insurance data companies together with companies like FitBit and 23andMe under the same gang.

Blogger JAG November 21, 2019 8:53 AM  

Modders and hackers have a lucrative industry that is going to grow ever larger for their service of removing a device's ability to report back to Big Brother while keeping its local-to-user functionality intact.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 21, 2019 9:23 AM  

"Welcome to the human farm! Time to grade and condition the meat."

Blogger Oswald November 21, 2019 9:24 AM  

What more do you want? They said they wouldn't sell users' personal or health data.

Of course, they didn't say they would not use it for their own evil purposes and since they are planning on owning everything anyway, there is no point in selling it to someone that they plan on buying in the very near future anyway.

To bad though, I believe I had an early model. I was able to down load a Rolex watch face for it. I fooled a couple of people with it. Ha ha.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 November 21, 2019 9:26 AM  

I had an open enrollment meeting recently where a HSA option was offered. In addition to the contributions I could make to the account, I could earn up to $3 a day with a FitBit or Apple Watch by getting my steps.

I'm sure that this money isn't free at all. Even $3 a day would be overhead if there wasn't something else going on. I guess I'll have to opt out of that part of the plan.

Blogger Dirtnapninja November 21, 2019 9:32 AM  

You shouldnt wear them anyways. they are useless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLkCSkhgKp8&fbclid=IwAR2GukcVj7GiJLLd0AiDa9nKAZxhxJPwZyrrrNbeyGWqqnXSLqFyO6b20vU

Blogger Ingemar November 21, 2019 9:33 AM  

Good riddance. FitBit looked like a cumbersome piece of trash so it was already an unattractive offering to me. The Google acquisition simply sprinkled bubonic plague on top.

Blogger Bramley Apple-Sauce November 21, 2019 9:37 AM  

Google faces a perception problem

They must hate the fact people can perceive reality and correlate corporate practices to truth.

Blogger MJ Meyers November 21, 2019 9:40 AM  

Sometimes I wonder if the CIA has a special agreement with Google where they protect them from anti-trust in exchange for following directives for acquisitions of certain properties or projects that the CIA can access data from. If I were evil and/or power hungry and a follower of the precept of Plato's "noble lie/grand myth," I'd think controlling powerful U.S. corporations to get around constitutional protections as a fantastic way to effect my control and make the world a better place.

Amazon is another company to watch out for: technology to get into your home or garage to leave a package so that package poachers don't take them in addition to a voice activated robot that records everything you say in your home?

What's next?

Blogger Johnny November 21, 2019 9:47 AM  

I use gmail. When I open my current mail server I get a message that asks me to sign in to windows. Next up I get a message that I assume is from Google (??), that explains what a bad idea it is to sign in to windows because it would be me sharing my password-username with Windows.

I am not about to share anything with windows, and the whole thing makes me think that maybe I should shift to some other mail source.

Blogger Johnny November 21, 2019 9:52 AM  

Sometimes I wonder if the CIA has a special agreement with Google...

I generally think of these things as informal. The people in power know that you accommodate other people in power. But the level of mutual accommodation has gotten so great that it does seem like back room deals going on. With Google it would be the search engine that would be the big linkup. And there just has to be some arrangement with YouTube.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 21, 2019 9:56 AM  

A while back google bought NEST. They have now thrown out all of NEST's software and are using their own.

Yeah, ditch the Fitbit.

Blogger spinoza November 21, 2019 9:57 AM  

43.6187 degrees N, 116.2146 degrees W

Blogger Barbarossa November 21, 2019 10:02 AM  

Corporations are like heroin addicts. Whatever they publicly state is the line they won't cross in their hunger for the next high or earnings boost is exactly the next line they'll cross. "I won't steal to feed my habit" = "We won't sell your private health data to meet earnings projections." The only difference is that the junkie doesn't have a three dozen lawyers on retainer trying to figure out how to do it and still be able to say it was all perfectly legal.

Blogger Nation-Deprived November 21, 2019 10:07 AM  

Crap, I bought mine less than three months ago. Thinking now I should’ve shelled out the extra for the Apple Watch. Or should we shun smart watches in general?

Blogger Dos Voltz November 21, 2019 10:10 AM  

I'd be worried that Google and the Cabal would figure out a way to make that thing on your wrist actually INDUCE a heart attack.

With 99% of the "victims" cohencidentally possessing pesky right wing views.

Blogger Didas Kalos November 21, 2019 10:13 AM  

Strap it to your dog.

Blogger Calvin809 November 21, 2019 10:13 AM  

Fitbit seems like just another electronic toy that was a fad a while ago. I don't hear many taking about it like they used to.

Blogger Gr8Again November 21, 2019 10:21 AM  

Does it really matter? Even if you drop Fitbit and use a Garmin or something different, you're still going to sync it to an app on your phone. And if your phone is an Android, Google will end up with the data.

The real issue is the Google/Apple duopoly on mobile operating systems.

Blogger SciVo November 21, 2019 10:40 AM  

Crap, I bought mine less than three months ago. Thinking now I should’ve shelled out the extra for the Apple Watch. Or should we shun smart watches in general?

Shun them in general. Tim Cook is a queer. You can't trust him any more than some Hindus or Jews. He'd sell you out in a heartbeat (pun intended).

I had literally just started making plans to finally buy a FitBit when this news broke. Had finally gotten over my native suspicion.

Well, never mind. No way in Hell am I giving my health info to a crazy-eyed foreigner rocking in the corner, stroking his knife and muttering "Don't be evil, don't be evil."

Blogger 351wsl November 21, 2019 10:42 AM  

"I had an open enrollment meeting recently where a HSA option was offered. In addition to the contributions I could make to the account, I could earn up to $3 a day with a FitBit or Apple Watch by getting my steps."

I'm sure you can think of clever ways to get your "steps" and collect your $3/day without actually wearing the thing.

Blogger John Bradley November 21, 2019 10:44 AM  

43.6187 degrees N, 116.2146 degrees W ???

Why have you taken me to an offramp of I-184 in Boise, Idaho?

Blogger James Dixon November 21, 2019 10:58 AM  

The amazing thing to me is that Citibank is apparently going to be stupid enough to partner with Google on a credit card: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/11/google-will-offer-checking-accounts-says-it-wont-sell-the-data/

Blogger James Dixon November 21, 2019 11:03 AM  

> and the whole thing makes me think that maybe I should shift to some other mail source.

Protonmail is free. They even have a free VPN tier.

> The real issue is the Google/Apple duopoly on mobile operating systems.

When and if it comes out: https://www.pine64.org/pinephone/



Blogger Rick November 21, 2019 11:04 AM  

The Amish are winning without Fitbits. Pro column.
Rumor has it, they are also not moving away and are in fact expanding their populations and properties.
Also, I find them much much less weird than drag queen hour. I can hardly tell them from Big Bear. Does BB have a Fitbit? This question answers itself.
I may have to go all “Dances with Wolves” on them one day. Or at least next to them.
This has been your Amish Report.

Blogger FrankUnderwood November 21, 2019 11:05 AM  

If you have a Android phone Google already knows where you are at all times and everything you do on the internet trough your phone. Giving Google access to your heartbeat won't really be a additional disadvantage for your privacy as it already is non-existant. Apple does phone back to their servers less often and send less data overall, but your privacy is probably still violated. If you want privacy ditch all smart devices and everything Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Blogger Damelon Brinn November 21, 2019 11:08 AM  

I spent a day working with three young Mennonite men a few weeks ago. An interesting thing was that they all had cell phones and used them quite a bit, but they appeared to be non-smartphones with just a number pad. They talked on them but I never saw them tapping or swiping.

Blogger Johnny November 21, 2019 11:22 AM  

>>The Amish are winning without Fitbits. Pro column.
Rumor has it, they are also not moving away and are in fact expanding their populations and properties.

Because they follow a traditional lifestyle, they are an expanding population. And because they so frequently have owner operator farms, they of course are accumulating real estate.

Blogger Dan in Georgia November 21, 2019 11:49 AM  

FrankUnderwood wrote:If you want privacy ditch all smart devices and everything Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Well, that doesn't leave us with a whole lot to choose from.

When the God-Emperor gets re-elected, we may see some trust-busting that will make smaller providers and manufacturers able to compete.

But I can also see future angry mobs tearing down 5G cell towers, though...

Blogger Sheila4g November 21, 2019 11:55 AM  

I bought a basic Fitbit many years ago when they first came out, used it for a few months, and then put it aside. All it told me was that the official chart for heart rates didn't apply to me (it routinely told me I was working out at a rate that would kill me). Seriously, if you require a Fitbit to confirm you're working out enough, then just assume you aren't. I have no apps on my phone and do not sync it with anything either. Inconvenient at times, but I'd rather not make it easier for the borg. Never done social media. Still keep my appointments on a paper calendar, etc. It works for me.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl November 21, 2019 12:01 PM  

This reminds me of something off topic I've been meaning to ask people-have you ever been locked out of your YouRube acct?
I'm not a content creator, merely a commenter on said content, and a few days ago I got locked out of my YT acct because I made a comment they didn't like. The irony is, it wasn't a bad comment of any sort, I was responding to someone dissing Southern rednecks and said ok, fine. You can call me a Southern redneck, I don't mind. I'm a proud Southerner.
Acct locked & forced to remove comment, just like Twitter's system.
I've never heard of this before, is this part of their new rules?

Blogger Noah B. November 21, 2019 12:01 PM  

"If you have a Android phone Google already knows where you are at all times and everything you do on the internet trough your phone."

If you don't create a Google account -- or if you don't enter it into your phone even if you have one -- it greatly limits the information that Google can collect and manage. That will mean installing any apps you want from .apk files rather than from Google Play, which is potentially risky in itself. But that's what I do and last time I checked Google had no information at all tied to my phone number.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl November 21, 2019 12:02 PM  

I don't wonder that, at all. I'm certain of it.

Blogger CM November 21, 2019 12:18 PM  

I bought a basic Fitbit many years ago when they first came out, used it for a few months, and then put it aside. All it told me was that the official chart for heart rates didn't apply to me (it routinely told me I was working out at a rate that would kill me). Seriously, if you require a Fitbit to confirm you're working out enough, then just assume you aren't. I have no apps on my phone and do not sync it with anything either. Inconvenient at times, but I'd rather not make it easier for the borg. Never done social media. Still keep my appointments on a paper calendar, etc. It works for me.

I have breathing problems when running so I got a Fitbit to see if I was overdoing it or if there were other issues. Turns out I was on the low side of working out. I think my breathing pattern is all wrong for running.

After reading here a while, I came to the conclusion I'm just a sprinter and not a long distance runner. Now I'm too fat to run. Wonder if I had just kept sprinting as a teen instead of trying to get a 7 minute mile, I'd be in better shape today.

Blogger JAG November 21, 2019 12:22 PM  

CM wrote:I bought a basic Fitbit many years ago when they first came out, used it for a few months, and then put it aside. All it told me was that the official chart for heart rates didn't apply to me (it routinely told me I was working out at a rate that would kill me). Seriously, if you require a Fitbit to confirm you're working out enough, then just assume you aren't. I have no apps on my phone and do not sync it with anything either. Inconvenient at times, but I'd rather not make it easier for the borg. Never done social media. Still keep my appointments on a paper calendar, etc. It works for me.

I have breathing problems when running so I got a Fitbit to see if I was overdoing it or if there were other issues. Turns out I was on the low side of working out. I think my breathing pattern is all wrong for running.

After reading here a while, I came to the conclusion I'm just a sprinter and not a long distance runner. Now I'm too fat to run. Wonder if I had just kept sprinting as a teen instead of trying to get a 7 minute mile, I'd be in better shape today.


Walk for 30 minutes per day to start, and increase that to one hour as you get in better shape.

Limit your daily caloric intake to a hard 2K limit.

If you can do this, report back in one year what your weight is.

Blogger Karhu November 21, 2019 12:23 PM  

@38 Noah B.

"If you have a Android phone Google already knows where you are at all times and everything you do on the internet trough your phone."

If you don't create a Google account -- or if you don't enter it into your phone even if you have one -- it greatly limits the information that Google can collect and manage."

Unless and until Google apes Facebook, which creates very high quality profiles of people without accounts, or who don't use Facebook in any way on there cell phones. Because they have to leak all sorts of information through their radios: it's an absolute requirement for cellular service, so incoming phone calls can be routed to the nearest tower. It's a very desired quality for minimal use of your cellular plan to run as much traffic as possible through WiFi hotspots, including when you're back home. Bluetooth I avoid, but there's potential for mischief there, for example, Apple is wired into a scheme where your phone listens for cheap beacons that are set up so that your smartphone can report whenever you are near one.

And with control of Android, increasingly with more and more closed source black boxed like Google Play Services, Google can harvest an immense amount of information through all the sensors packed into a phone. One correlation to your True Name using the Facebook methods and they've got you.

Don't think that Google and these other Left tech companies aren't well poised to maintain lists of future war criminals like the Warsaw Pact did in case they captured some of Western Europe.

Blogger Quilp November 21, 2019 12:27 PM  

I've wondered the same about the map my run app.

Blogger Sheila4g November 21, 2019 1:43 PM  

@40 CM: "After reading here a while, I came to the conclusion I'm just a sprinter and not a long distance runner. Now I'm too fat to run. Wonder if I had just kept sprinting as a teen instead of trying to get a 7 minute mile, I'd be in better shape today."

Probably. Everyone's body is different - I'm definitely not a runner or sprinter; I jog one minute and then briskly incline walk for 3 minutes, rinse repeat for a total of 25 minutes on a treadmill twice a week. I begin every workout with about 20 minutes of warm-up cardio (my own settings of gradually increasing and then decreasing resistance/speed) on an elliptical because that's what I need. After an intense weight workout with maybe 1 minute rest between supersets, I've cut out a lot of cardio after. I like pushing the weighted trolley (or whatever it's called) set on medium resistance with a 45 lb plate for 2-3 Sabaton songs. I don't run while doing it, but I don't stop either. 10 minutes of that is far superior to an hour of walking and then I'm done.

Blogger Doktor Jeep November 21, 2019 1:50 PM  

Anybody remember Goggle Glass...I think they called it.... That was widely met with paranoia.

Blogger Newscaper312 November 21, 2019 2:24 PM  

It's a shame because large data sets are fuel for machine learning, which could have a positive impact to more data driven medicine.
But they've proven they can't be fully trusted.

Blogger Rakshasa November 21, 2019 2:59 PM  

Bought one mainly to keep track of BPM while exercising, and while privacy and all that has always been extremely important to me...

I still carry a way more advanced surveillance system in my pocket. This whole discussion is missing way too many points.

Blogger LAZ November 21, 2019 3:28 PM  

"Wonder if I had just kept sprinting as a teen instead of trying to get a 7 minute mile, I'd be in better shape today."

Eating balanced meals and moderately exercising will do you wonders.

Blogger BriarRabbit November 21, 2019 4:09 PM  

I ran long distances fron age 16 through age 30. 10-12 miles a day. A marathon.

Now my knees are starting to be an issue at 45. I no longer think werr should run long distances. I'm sticking to my homestead, walking, and low impact stuff.

Blogger Guitar Man November 21, 2019 4:15 PM  

Long distance running will also do a number on your back. Short sprints are fine and fun, but long distance running always felt like a chore to me.

Blogger Lance E November 21, 2019 4:36 PM  

It's Get Woke, Go Broke in slow motion. Google may be sitting on a mountain of capital, and the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, but they aren't going to be able to capitalize on all that capital when nobody trusts them, and the effects are starting to show.

Blogger Daniel November 21, 2019 6:07 PM  

Read google history
It is clear the three letter agencies are google

Blogger Avalanche November 21, 2019 8:53 PM  

@34 "Because they follow a traditional lifestyle, they are an expanding population."

And because they're breeding and rebreeding down the generations inside their own people, they're breeding DOWN and having more and more retardation and chromosomal abnormalities... oops.

Blogger Ted November 21, 2019 11:47 PM  

A friend worked for a company that incentivized wearing a Fitbit in order to get a more favorable rate from their health insurance carrier. When he came up short any one day, he'd plop it on his airedale and turn him lose in the backyard...problem solved.

Blogger Rabid Ratel November 22, 2019 9:13 AM  

Ted wrote:he'd plop it on his airedale and turn him lose in the backyard..

That is probably the best use of Fitbit ever. Imagine a whole state with everyone outfitting their hunting dogs with these smart watches. (((Some people))) will not be amused.

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