Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Before Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, the FTC issued them an order [1] which said in relevant part:

"WhatsApp has made a number of promises about the limited nature of the data it collects, maintains, and shares with third parties -promises that exceed the protections currently promised to Facebook users. We want to make clear that, regardless of the acquisition, WhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act"

Then in 2016 WhatsApp went ahead and shared all that data with Facebook [2]. Nothing happened to either party, the FTC did nothing.

So I think your question of "how do we codify what it means for a company to acquire someone for their data" might be too optimistic - we could codify it, not allow companies to share data when merging, and they can still do it anyway.

[1]: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements...

[2]: https://blog.whatsapp.com/10000627/Looking-ahead-for-WhatsAp...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact