How can it help users?
The tech giant claims that the company will be able to support several benefits for Fitbit users with Google accounts. These benefits include — a single login for Fitbit and other Google services, improved security, unified privacy controls for user data and much more.
Security is paramount for sensitive information like health and fitness data. Fitbit’s existing login system uses two-factor authentication (2FA) through SMS. The company removed the “sign-in with the Facebook option” in 2021 while the “sign-in with Google option” is available (which will become mandatory in 2023).
This change will cover the sign-in process and will consolidate a single set of credentials for every user. The company has mentioned that once the change is implemented in 2023, users will require a Google account to even sign-up for Fitbit and to activate upcoming devices and features.
Previous reports claimed that Fitbit is also developing a premium Wear OS 3 watch. According to a report by 9to5Google, the new backend transition will be similar to the Nest app to the Google Home move.
Google will eventually end Fitbit accounts
Users will be allowed to move their Fitbit accounts to their Google accounts once the change is in place. Existing users will also be allowed to continue using their non-Google Fitbit accounts till 2025. However, these users won’t be allowed to use new devices or health features until they migrate their accounts. In 2025, a Google account will be the only option left to access Fitbit devices and services.
Google has mentioned that customers will be notified before their Fitbit accounts are ended. These users will be notified within the Fitbit app, emails and help articles.
The tech giant has promised to abide by the “binding commitments” that it made with global regulators to acquire Fitbit while switching account systems/backends. These commitments include ensuring the health and wellness data of Fitbit users is not being used for Google Ads.