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Google Fit To Curate Steps, Calories, Heart Rate, Other Biometric Data

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the makes-me-go-all-pitter-patter dept.

Stats 53

mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google is planning to release a new product called Google Fit that will aggregate health data from various devices and apps, according to a report Thursday from Forbes. Fit will use available APIs to pull biometric information together into one place, but it's unclear whether it will be a standalone app or part of the Android OS. Reports of Fit come on the heels of Apple's announcement of HealthKit in iOS 8, a system that also interacts with apps and APIs to curate and present health data like steps walked, calories consumed, and heart rates logged. Fit also follows the announcement of Sami, Samsung's health platform for culling health-related info."

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The more they know about you... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235281)

...the more tailored offers they can make for you.

Re:The more they know about you... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235879)

Only an idiot thinks data aggregation/collection is for serving ads or marketing.

Re:The more they know about you... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 months ago | (#47237101)

Exactly, they can offer me things I actually want rather than the garbage advertisements I don't want. I can't wait until the day I only see advertisements that are things I want, when I want them.

Re:The more they know about you... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 months ago | (#47237533)

Great. when you have a heart attack, will you get an ad for a hospital or an ambulance first?

Re:The more they know about you... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 months ago | (#47237581)

As long as I don't get an ad for a funeral parlor, I'm okay with either.

Re:The more they know about you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47237413)

...the more tailored offers they can make for you.

And the law enforcement resources can be allocated when you are being sought. Hey this guy never exercises except for walks between the kitchen and bedroom with the occasional side-trip to the bathroom. We can just send three officers to apprehend the suspect. If she runs we'll have one of you remain outdoors just under the bedroom window while two officers enter the residence. No, no. You won't need ERT but make sure you have your pepper spray at the ready. The gun registry records say she has no firearms in the residence and her 1979 Volkswagon Bug was last serviced in 2012; she'll not be getting too far.

Sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235283)

I'd use it. As long as the data goes to my server and not to Google.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235905)

Dream on.

Of course it's going to their servers. Almost all software built now from multiplayer games to logging exercise data uses someone else's servers. It's how things are now, because very few people mind, and there's a big financial upside to the companies involved by having the control and the data-mining capability.

Don't do evil (0)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 2 months ago | (#47235291)

How on earth does it fit with "Don't do evil"?

Re: Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235315)

It fits with "keep up with Apple." This is Google's answer to iOS HealthKit.

Of course, for the paranoid, remember that feature parity in the past has had the added bonus of selector strength parity: two-factor ID tagged potentially pseudonymous user accounts with strong selectors (phone numbers: try getting a Yahoo account now without a cell phone). Now, Google and Apple have excuses to get you to hand over biometrics for more ID and also to sell you a new GPS tracker so you can quantify your jog/run/waddle. PRISM will know where you are and have more clues on who you really are---and whether you deserve insurance.

Re: Don't do evil (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235337)

Apple's "healthkit" closely mimics both the appearance and functionality of Samsung's S-Health suite, which is an android health app / service suit that has existed on Android for a few years now.

It was quite cringeworthy watching apple's announcement, implementing "revolutionary" and "new" features which have been available on Android sometimes for over 5 years+.

Re: Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235445)

This is something else. Samsungs tacky take on anything which nobody ever uses is not even comparable.

Re: Don't do evil (1)

GrahamJ (241784) | about 2 months ago | (#47235991)

What's the adoption rate on that?

Re: Don't do evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235399)

PRISM won't know shit if you don't use this. And why would you? These things are for sheep.

Re:Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235363)

Their unofficial motto is "Don't be evil". Although they do seem to increasingly be finding it rather difficult to keep to that at times, I'm not sure how releasing an app to help people monitor their fitness is being evil.

The thing you have to remember about "free" Google apps/services is that that aren't really free and you are really paying for them with your personal data, with that in mind you have to decide whether that is a fair trade. Now they may not explicitly state that your data is payment for the services they provide, but they do make it clear they are collecting and using it, so not evil. Collecting someone's personal data without consent could be construed as evil, but you can always opt-out of that by not using their services.

Re:Don't do evil (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 months ago | (#47235593)

Their unofficial motto is "Don't be evil".

When was the most recent instance someone from Google's leadership team used that phrase, anyway?

Re:Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235385)

I don't think they mean that kind of culling, although admittedly the data would be an excellent basis for it.

Re:Don't do evil (1)

bolek_b (246528) | about 2 months ago | (#47235491)

"Don't be evil" was probably deemed too obsolete. Judging from some recent cases, such as GMail redesign, recent total crackdown on non-market Chrome extensions or planting a Trojan horse into Yahoo, the current motto is "Prostrate before the evil majesty, you worm!"

Re: Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235599)

How the fuck is this evil? Are they clone you, raping your mother, or killing your dog with this information? You agreed to giving them this information learn what your responsibility is and stop acting like theyre trying to take over your life.

Re:Don't do evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47236201)

"It's not evil when WE do it."

Fuck Google (1, Flamebait)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47235303)

and all the info its tries to aquire on all of its users. There's somethign wrong whena company has this much power to collect so much info on people.

Re:Fuck Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235313)

Are you doing your part? By not using Gmail, by blocking javascript, even if it breaks some pages, by rooting and disabling evil stuff on your phone?

Re:Fuck Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235323)

Yup. But I'm only doing those things to protect myself. I have no illusions that it will actually change the way the world is going.

Re:Fuck Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235917)

It can if enough other people do it too.

Of course, if people keep being sheep, then yes, nothing will change. But if you don't do those things, you're part of the problem. If you do do them, you're part of the solution.

Re:Fuck Google (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47235339)

Sure am I got my own domain(s) name and use thunderbird or my webmail software, block all ads and don't have an evil phone. Don't use social sites and don't tie my life and business to data collection services like G+ and Facebook.You might find it weird but I can function just fine witho out owning any gadges that are tied to some data collection company.

Re:Fuck Google (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235391)

Yes, I don't use Gmail. Yes, I block Facebook and Google's script library. Yes, it breaks pages because stupid webmasters needlessly make their pages dependent on a third party server. Yes, my phone uses a custom ROM, is rooted and Google services are not installed. It doesn't matter. Google has most of my email because it has all of yours [mako.cc] . Google has my picture, my address, my phone numbers and basically everything else, because other people give it to them. Just like the Indians who accepted trinkets in return for real value, it's not those people who are doing evil. Google needs a new motto.

Re:Fuck Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235419)

I wonder if it's possible to sue them for copyright infringement when they scan a mail that I wrote that was intended for a third party.
If I watch a movie that I got from a friend but didn't pay for it, I sure as hell can get into trouble. Why does Google get away with the same thing?

Re:Fuck Google (3, Insightful)

fazig (2909523) | about 2 months ago | (#47235331)

EULA: You agree that Google may transfer, store, and/or share your User Data with third party organizations, like health insurance companies.

Re:Fuck Google (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47235417)

EULA: You agree that Google may transfer, store, and/or share your User Data with third party organizations, like health insurance companies.

Ah, you must live in a place where EULA's must have some meaning. Plenty of us don't, in turn that said information would be protected under various privacy laws and could not be given, handed out, traded, or sold to any other party whether it be second or third party. Doing so would be a fundamental violation of the law in Canada, and Europe, as well as most other western countries. May vary by US state however.

Re:Fuck Google (1)

fazig (2909523) | about 2 months ago | (#47235569)

I don't know about Canada, but over here the privacy laws protect you about as effectively as a police car at the street corner can protect you from being mugged.

Actually I live in Germany. Yes we have our precious privacy laws, draconian in appearance but impractical and ineffective in application. EULAs don't hold much weight here, like most digitally signed contracts, which does give me some legal leverage, but only technically. It doesn't stop companies, that aren't located in the EU, from violating my local privacy laws and neither does it stop companies in Germany to buy data that was mined in illegal ways. Google is neither an EU nor a German company, and while the EU and Germany could prohibit Google from doing business here people will still use their services and devices.
My point here is: When you can find such an article in the EULA, you can expect that it will be done, whether it complies if your local law or not.

Re:Fuck Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235429)

Or you'll be flooded with emails, smartphone advertisements on which medication or doctors to go to, of course Google will get a commission fee. I actually have concerns on these devices, I waiting to see if any company that makes these biometric devices will immediately report it to news outlets or if some keep silent , that these can somehow scan and register your DNA.

Not paranoid about it, just with tech in fast forward mode, it makes me ponder if they have or if they are about to?

Re:Fuck Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47236407)

On some level that is the whole point. If sending all my info to health insurance companies, hospitals, HHS, NIH, WHO, etc. would lead to healthier lives for people as a whole, I'm all for it. Information guiding policy is way better than wonks just guessing or using limited survey data. In the US, post-ACA, where insurance companies can't really kick you out of the system if you pay your bills, insurance companies really really don't want you to get suddenly sick and hurt because it's starting to actually cost them money now. Interests are slightly more inline now.

Besides, I don't get the knee jerk reaction to people seeing data. The whole world can freely count the number of times I step, pee, etc. I don't see the draw backs.

The insurance companies... (1, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47235333)

...would love this.

Imagine them getting access to everything about your health, they wouldn't need to get it from a doctor, so they could make their own assessment of your current health status and habits, thus increasing the price of your insurance, or denying it altogether.

Re:The insurance companies... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235411)

Have you been asleep for the past five years?

Re:The insurance companies... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47235749)

thus increasing the price of your insurance, or denying it altogether.

They would have loved it back when they were permitted to deny pre-existing conditions. Now they can't do that any more.

I agree that it's too soon to be aggregating this data on Google's servers. But sooner or later, it's going to be trivial for anyone to get all that data about you anyway. Pulse and respiration rates, for example, can be read with a camera today, noninvasively and at a distance. Video tracking and face recognition are becoming ubiquitous. We must hack society such that it will not harm us for other people to have this information about us, because we will never prevent them from gathering it when the technical bar drops too low.

Sorry, Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235383)

My big brother already does that for me.

Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (3, Interesting)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 months ago | (#47235465)

http://www.google.com/intl/en-... [google.com]
  Google Health has been discontinued

Google Health has been permanently discontinued. All data remaining in Google Health user accounts as of January 2, 2013 is being systematically destroyed, and Google is no longer able to recover any Google Health data for any user. To learn more about this announcement, see our blog post, or answers to frequently-asked questions below.
Frequently-asked questions

        Is there any way to retrieve my Google Health data from Google?

        No -- all remaining user data is being permanently and irrevocably deleted from the Google Health system starting on January 2, 2013. Google is no longer able to recover any Google Health data for any user.

        What happened to my Google Health data after January 1, 2013?

        All Google Health user accounts have been deactivated, and all data stored in them is being systematically deleted from Google’s systems starting on January 2, 2013.

Re:Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (1)

c (8461) | about 2 months ago | (#47235605)

Is there any way to retrieve my Google Health data from Google?

For approximately a 6 month period prior to the deletion date, people could download their data in a whole whack of formats. See the original announcement [blogspot.ca] . Say what you will about Google, but they are good about giving lead time and tools to extract your information prior to a service shutdown.

That being said, being able to download your information and being able to do anything with it is a whole other thing. In the case of Google Reader, at least the output format was a standard format (OPML), so migrating elsewhere was relatively trivial (and Feedly pretty much turned it into a one-click experience). I'm not sure any competitors bothered to handle the Google Health formats.

Re:Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 months ago | (#47235633)

And yes - the point I was attempting to make was not that they deleted the data, but that the service (which has some parallels to the proposed new one) just went away when google decided they diddn't want to do it anymore.
And that do you really want to put your information into a service that may well go away, rather than trying to work out some way to use it locally.

Re:Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235739)

Irrevocable deletion sounds like one of the better things Google could do with your personal health data.

It all depends on whether the wearable market lives up to the hype. If not, Google is not the only company that will be cancelling some services.

Re:Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (2)

c (8461) | about 2 months ago | (#47238883)

And that do you really want to put your information into a service that may well go away, rather than trying to work out some way to use it locally.

I can live with the risk; I don't keep data online that I don't have local copies of or would be bothered if it went away.

I'd estimate that at least 50% of the services I use daily now won't be around in another 5-10 years, and 90% of the devices I use now won't be usable in another 5 years. That's the nature of modern technology, and it's not specific to Google.

Re:Oh yeah - that sounds like a great idea... (1)

dasunt (249686) | about 2 months ago | (#47236699)

There are websites like "myfitnesspal.com" that do the same thing - integrate with various devices, such as Fitbit trackers, Strava, etc.

Rather useful for some people, but also a little worrisome for privacy concerns.

Not Fit (4, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 2 months ago | (#47235521)

Also, for others, they will release Google Fat. Which will help the consumer find restaurants with extra large helpings, identify the transportation approach that requires the least walking, and includes smart deep fry timing technology.

Re:Not Fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47237485)

Also, for others, they will release Google Fat. Which will help the consumer find restaurants with extra large helpings, identify the transportation approach that requires the least walking, and includes smart deep fry timing technology.

Finally a Google service I can sink my teeth into with anticipation of good things to come. Do they do delivery?

While you are at it... (1)

blackfeltfedora (2855471) | about 2 months ago | (#47235875)

Feel free to google the definition of the word "curate".

Re:While you are at it... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 months ago | (#47235895)

Yeah, I thought it was a member of the clergy (protestant)

Can't see what that has to do with the idea of tracking your exercise...

Re:While you are at it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235955)

A word can have more than one definition and your intelligence should be able to tell which one is meant.

curate: to act as curator
curator: one who has the care and superintendence of something

The word you're looking for is "track" (1)

quixote9 (999874) | about 2 months ago | (#47235961)

There. Fixed that for you.

Yay. Fitness for dilettantes, info to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235941)

Serious about tracking your fitness? Get a HRM (Garmin, Polar) and apps like TrainingPeaks or GoldenCheetah (cyclists-only AFAICT) and keep the data on your own damn computer.

Re:Yay. Fitness for dilettantes, info to Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47237021)

Serious about tracking your fitness? Get a HRM (Garmin, Polar) and apps like TrainingPeaks or GoldenCheetah (cyclists-only AFAICT) and keep the data on your own damn computer.

I'll put my data wherever I want, faggot.

Re:Yay. Fitness for dilettantes, info to Google (1)

Optali (809880) | about 2 months ago | (#47245963)

Or Runningahead.com !!! if you are a runner (and this one is free no restrictions and an awesome community) Garmin Connect is not bad either and if you are more into community stuff there's Suunto's Moveslink. The advantage of these sites are of course that they are specialized and made for sporters by sporters.

Manditory registration. (1)

Mozai (3547) | about 2 months ago | (#47236881)

"All employees are required to register with Google Fit. Employees who are not healthy are inefficient, and their salary will be adjusted accordingly to the value they are withholding from this company by being insufficiently healthy."

Just like when employers demand the social networking data of every employee, sometimes even requiring Facebook passwords.

Work harder! (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47237993)

Google is watching you. Google knows when you cheat on your exercise program. And they'll share the data with your health insurance company, providing a monetary incentive for you to keep exercising, to "help you loose weight" and not because they're evil. In case you're wondering, this means that if you are healthy and use this program, you can save money on health insurance.

"15 minutes a day could save you 15% or more on health insurance!"

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