WhatsApp raises minumum age limit to 16 in the EU

Posted April 27, 2018

Under the law, children must be 16 years of age in order to give consent for their personal data to be processed. Twitter also claims that the new update will give more clarity about how it shares our data to prevent harm, comply with the law, serve the public interest, and keep Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone. It said those aged 13 years to 15 years will need to get permission from a parent or guardian for their information to be shared on the platform.

WhatsApp says the age-restriction for other countries around the world will remain at 13-years-of-age.

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

The Facebook-owned messaging app is raising its age limit from 13 to 16 in Europe to meet the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, which comes in to force on May 25.

Though, the company did not make it clear how it will verify users' age given the limited data it asks to provide from its users. Under those rules, businesses not compliant with GDPR standards-and that's any business that handles the personal data of European Union citizens, which includes mobile payments-will face fines of up to four percent of their total annual revenue, or $20 million, if that's higher.

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According to Ofcom around a third of 12-15-year olds in the United Kingdom use WhatsApp on a regular basis, and at the moment the Facebook-owned app doesn't ask users to verify their age.

WhatsApp, founded in 2009 and bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, has come under pressure from some European governments in recent years because of its use of end-to-end encryption and its plan to share user data with its parent company.

It also features regulations to protect young people's information when using online services. As companies create new ways of using data, they must ask again for permission.

The company has said that providing false information violates its terms, and users can be banned as a result. A propaganda expert who has studied Cambridge Analytica says the company helped Donald Trump's presidential campaign use false statements and anti-Muslim messages to spread fear and resentment in swing states he needed to win.