WhatsApp Raises Minimum Age in Europe to 16 Ahead of GDPR

WhatsApp the popular messaging app is raising the minimum age requirements in Europe from 13 to 16 to comply with data privacy laws which will come into effect in the next few weeks.

WhatsApp will make it mandatory for users to agree to new service agreements when they ask to verify the age from 13 to 16 as provided by a new WhatsApp Ireland entity in the next few weeks.

It is still a concern among many how they are going to verify the age of the users considering that the app stores and has minimum data of the users.

Facebook a different entity in the same parent company is taking a different method of verifying the age of the teens between 13 and 15 to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation law.

It is asking for permission from teens of that age from their guardians to help share information on the platform, otherwise, they will not be able to access a completely personalized version of the social media platform.

WhatsApp which has a total of 1.4 billion users using the platform in a blog post had communicated that it is not using a different service agreement to collect the personal information of users as per the European Union.

“Our goal is simply to explain how we use and protect the limited information we have about you,” it said.

WhatsApp which came into being in 2009 has come under scrutiny of many regulatory agencies as they had used end-to-end encrypted messaging system and planned on sharing information with their parent company Facebook.

Facebook itself has come under the scanner of many regulatory agencies when the users of the social media platform had their information stolen in the millions of users and given in the hand of third party agencies such as Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns on how it handles user data.

WhatsApp minimum age will remain at 13 for most of the remaining parts of the world.

GDPR is the biggest overhaul of data privacy laws which has been enacted in Europe allows users to find out what information is stored on the users and be able to delete the information they want.

Apple and other tech companies has said that it plans on giving the same protection laws for users in America and other places in the world as Europe has given to its users.

WhatsApp had its moved disrupted by lawmakers in Europe which had allowed them to share information such as phone number and other information with Facebook to help improve the product and more effectively target ads.

WhatsApp had suspended the change in Europe after widespread regulatory scrutiny. It had said on Tuesday that it wished to share the information in the future.

“As we have said in the past, we want to work closer with other Facebook companies in the future and we will keep you updated as we develop our plans,” it said.

WhatsApp has also said that it has made the following information available for user to download as a report, such as make and model of the phone they are using, their contacts and groups and any blocked numbers.

“This feature will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app,” it said.

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