FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ING Bank Selects Sentinel as Technical Expert to Assist with the Monitoring of Google’s Compliance with the Commitments Agreed Upon with the European Commission in the Context of Google’s Fitbit Acquisition
Bellevue, WA, June 8, 2021 – Sentinel, LLC today announced that it has been appointed as Technical Expert by ING Bank, in its capacity as the Monitoring Trustee in Case COMP/M.9660 - Google/Fitbit, tasked with monitoring Google’s commitments to the EC. This is significant because the European Commission’s approval of Google’s acquisition is conditional on full compliance with these commitments. The selection of Sentinel as Technical Expert will enable ING to appropriately monitor the performance of the commitments over their multi-year duration.
Sentinel President Aaron Weller stated, “This appointment affirms that Sentinel has the necessary technical capabilities, including data governance, data protection and APIs for expert oversight sufficient to handle arguably some of the most difficult and pressing technological challenges. This appointment reinforces that Sentinel is a leader in this space. We’re beyond excited to work with the EC, ING, and Google to ensure the commitments are respected, and to demonstrate how the EC and industry can work together to allow companies to continue to create great products while addressing the ECs competition concerns.”
The EC’s approval of the acquisition of Fitbit by Google is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Google, including a commitment by Google to maintain a technical separation of relevant Fitbit users’ data, which will be stored in a “data silo”, separate from any other Google data that is used for advertising. In addition, Google will not use for Google Ads the health and wellness data collected from wrist-worn wearable devices and other Fitbit devices of users in the EEA, including search advertising, display advertising, and advertising intermediation products. This refers also to data collected via sensors (including GPS) as well as manually inserted data.
Also, EEA users will have an effective choice to grant or deny the use of health and wellness data stored in their Google Account or Fitbit Account by other Google services (such as Google Search, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and YouTube). Sentinel’s role as Technical Expert will be to help ensure that any findings ING submits to the EC as a monitoring trustee will be well informed and supported by evidence.
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Media contact: Karen Howe +1 (206) 619- 3692 [email protected]