European WhatsApp rises minimum age to 16

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Europe's sweeping privacy law GDPR goes into effect May 25th, and Facebook is being forced to push users through new agreements to terms of service changes required to comply with the law. Its parent company Facebook will be asking teens between 13 and 15 to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform.

However, WhatsApp messenger, which according to the Facebook official information had over 1.5 billion users in January, confirmed that they would not ask for the right to collecting personal data.

WhatsApp says the update ensured it could "meet the new high standards of transparency for how we protect the privacy of our users".

Users of WhatsApp will have to at least 16 under new rules being brought in by the service.

But like its parent company Facebook doesn't seem to be adopting GDPR-level privacy regulations outside the EU, WhatsApp seemingly has no plans to change the minimum age threshold elsewhere.

At present, WhatsApp does not ask users their age when they join, nor does it cross-reference their Facebook or Instagram accounts to find out.

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Users of Facebook, Google and other popular technology platforms are likely to benefit from stricter privacy regulations that, beginning next month, will require new disclosures, new forms of consent and new power to limit how personal data is stored and utilized.

"Every message and call is secured by end-to-end encryption so that no one, not even WhatsApp, can read or listen to your conversations".

Independent analyst Richard Windsor, despite being bearish, also doubts Facebook has much to fear from the GDPR regulator - Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) will be responsible for overseeing Facebook because its main European Union office is in Dublin.

However, the app plans to keep its age limit at 13 in the rest of the world. The regulation will also provide the users enhanced powers to use and restrict their data.

Following weeks of controversy regarding what data Facebook collects and how it's used, the company is jacking up efforts to make users feel more comfortable. If they don't follow this step, they won't have access to a "fully personalised" version of Facebook.

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