The companies continue to claim that they aren’t “commingling” the data gathered from Moves, which counts steps with a smartphone’s built-in sensors, with the troves of data Facebook has amassed on its own. But as the Center for Digital Democracy’s Jeffrey Chester explains to the Wall Street Journal, the difference between “commingling” and “sharing” data is little more than semantic obfuscation. (That seems to have become quite the trend of late.)
It matters little if Facebook never finds a purpose for the information it gathers from Moves. The company has spent billions of dollars on acquisitions in the last few months alone — the amount it paid for Moves almost certainly pales in comparison to what it paid for WhatsApp or Oculus. This is a small investment in a nascent product category that will allow Facebook to experiment with fitness tracking without having to build something like Moves on its own.
[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]