When a Company Is Put Up for Sale, in Many Cases, Your Personal Data Is, Too

Natasha Singer, Jeremy B. Merrill, CC BY-SA, Jul 01, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
files/images/29firesale-master675.jpg

The story is in the headline. That's why it doesn't matter how much a company reassures you that "all your data is safe with us." As soon as the company is sold, all bets are off. The definition of "us" has just changed dramatically. That's why some of these startup companies become so valuable. Microsoft didn't simply buy Minecraft technology for $2.5 billion, for example - it bought access to data on millions of children using Minecraft, which is now being leveraged to support its educational offerings.

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