Side by side Fitbit and Google logos

Google Sign-in For Fitbit Coming This Summer

Google acquired Fitbit back in 2021, but since then, Fitbit has continued to operate as usual. But following the introduction of Google’s first branded smartwatch, the Google Pixel Watch, which integrates with the Fitbit app, Google has been prepping for change.

In late 2022, Google announced that Fitbit sign-ins would be phased out and transferred to Google. Earlier this year, Google announced that Competitions, Open Groups, and Adventures would no longer be available through the Fitbit platform as it continued to revamp the set-up. This was followed by a series of system outages and issues users reported experiencing, frustrating many about the switch.

In an e-mail sent today to Fitbit device owners, Google noted that it will be updating its privacy policy “to support the upcoming introduction of Google accounts on Fitbit.” The transition that will require Fitbit users to have an active Google account to connect to the device won’t be mandatory until 2025 for existing users. But those new to the Fitbit world will have to sign in with a Google account as of this summer.

Google touts the added layer of security this will afford users along with unified privacy controls. But it also raises concerns. Google already has access to a myriad of information about its users, from your web searches to your travel plans, e-mails, and more. Fitbit devices with built-in GPS also track your continuous location (if granted), which people use often to track runs, cycles, trail walks, and more.

Adding Fitbit health and wellness data to the mix of information Google has prime access to, including not only new data but historical health data, will give the company an even more holistic view of a user. Whether you’re simply an anonymous number in the system or not, it’s a frightening thought. Your shopping habits are one thing. Your personal health stats are something completely different.  

Google promises that the Fitbit experience long-time users have come to know and love will continue as usual. There will also be a simplified sign-in process, though does this really matter? Typically, once you sign in to a Fitbit account (many using a Gmail e-mail address anyway), you don’t need to sign in every time you want to check the app and your stats. You can remain logged in, often with the password saved on your mobile device.

The data accessed from Fitbit will not be used for Google ads, the company reassures, and will be “kept separate from Google ads data.” Here’s hoping you don’t start receiving ads for stress relievers should your Fitbit be clocking high stress levels or heart medication if atrial fibrillation is detected from a Fitbit watch.

Google says these changes are necessary to “add new features, deliver faster load times, and improve your experience.”

If you are already a Fitbit user, you’ll eventually see a prompt in the app asking if you want to sign in through Google going forward. You can also visit the Settings menu to find this. You won’t have to do it immediately, as noted, but will have no choice by 2025. For those buying Fitbit new, prepare to sign in through your Google account, or to set one up. It may only a matter of time before Google completely absorbs Fitbit and the name ceases to exist.

Considering a switch? See my comparison between Fitbit and Apple Watch and my experience and observations wearing both at the same time.