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Google acquires Fitbit; HERE introduces new consent tools; and protections are added for app users

Regulator and user concerns continue over data gathering and use, but companies are making changes to allay fears.

--Susan Raab, Editor

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Fitbit acquisition for reported $2.1 billion allowed by global regulators

Google closes Fitbit deal making commitment to protect user privacy and silo data

Google has completed its acquisition of Fitbit, which has a community of 29 million active users. The announcement follows a year of negotiation that resulted in Google's promises to safeguard consumer privacy, keep Fitbit user data separate and to not use the Fitbit data for Google advertising.  

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Enterprises can deliver personalized data services to global users with new HERE tools

HERE adds consent manager and anonymizer for location data

HERE Technologies, a global location data company with 9,000 employees across 56 countries, has added new digital privacy tools to provide more control and compliance in IoT devices for mapping, geolocation, telecom and retail.  

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Philippine President Duterte's new directive sanctions ISPs for failure to stop proliferation of child pornography during COVID. Incident totals more than doubled from 19,000 in 2019 to 47,937 in 2020. 

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A majority of employees would use workplace wearables if privacy is protected, according to new Nymi report

Toronto-based Nymi Inc., survey of more than 2,000 U.S. employees found that 77% would welcome using a wearable issued by their employer if it contributed to their health, safety and effectiveness. At the same time, more than half indicated that they would want their data to be kept private, and 44% had concerns that their company might not use their data responsibly. 

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One-billionth CCTV coming to a city near you?

Surfshark recently released the results of a global survey of 150 cities, showing those with the most surveillance cameras per square kilometer. Chennai with 657 and Hyderabad, India top the list. Six Chinese cities are also in the top 10 as is London with 399. Paris has 254, whereas New York City cames in with under 26 per square kilometer. Surfshark projects the global number of CCTVs will hit one billion by the end of 2021.

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In Brief: 

Google introduces new Guest Mode for voice assistant privacy: Users will not need to log into their Google account to use smart devices, so will not have their activity saved. Read More

French watchdog condemns Interior Ministry's use of drones to surveil protesters: CNIL says French data privacy rules were breached by police because they did not blur faces of people filmed, and demonstrators could be easily identified. Read More

TikTok changes privacy settings to protect users under 18: Accounts for users 13-15 will be private by default and the app will have tighter controls for all users under 18. Read More 

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