WhatsApp to raise minimum age to 16 over new European Union data laws


Article 8 of the law says European Union countries can choose where they want to set the age of consent for the processing of personal data, as long as it's between 13 and 16.

To continue to use WhatsApp, users must now confirm that they are at least 16 years old and agree to the privacy policy and terms of services of the newly-created WhatsApp Ireland Limited. It is reported by The Independent, writes the Chronicle.info about a reference to the European truth. It's not clear if the company's will review its minimum age on its other services too.

While the laws are only in the EU, Twitter says that the privacy settings and privacy policy update applies worldwide. From May 25, companies will have to be much more transparent about how they handle users' data.

Facebook will have more leeway in how it handles data about those users, Veale said.

Technology and internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple will also face greater accountability under the laws - which require firms to report any data breaches likely to "risk the rights and freedoms of individuals" within 72 hours of first becoming aware of it.

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The chief executive of Childnet International - a charity that is a member of Facebook's Safety Advisory Board - said he thought the firm had more work to do to communicate the change.

Such websites and apps are obliged to "make reasonable efforts to verify" that a parent or guardian has given consent for their child's data to be handled.

WhatsApp's minimum age of use will remain 13 years in the rest of the world, in line with its parent.

If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people's online data went into effect tomorrow, nearly 1.9 billion Facebook Inc. users around the world would be protected by it. "While many will have sought the necessary authorizations from European Union citizens to store their data and use it for marketing etc., they will lack the processes and protections demanded by the legislation to ensure compliance and protect personally identifiable information with which they have been entrusted".

It also confirmed it will launch a feature in the coming weeks that will enable users to download a copy of the data WhatsApp has collected on them - another requirement of GDPR. If they can't get permission, then see a restricted and non-personalised version of the site.