WhatsApp raises minimum age in Europe to 16

Facebook starts to take user privacy very seriously as GDPR looms

Facebook starts to take user privacy very seriously as GDPR looms

The new rules for companies harvesting user data will protect privacy and hopefully limit Cambridge Analytica-type scandals in the future. Today, WhatsApp announced it is raising the minimum age to use its platform, to 16 years old.

The WhatsApp messaging service has raised the minimum age for its users in Europe and now the service will be unavailable to people younger than 16 years of age, according to the company's blog.

At the moment, European users of WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, must be at least 13.

WhatsApp will ask users to confirm they are at least 16 when they are prompted to accept new terms of service and an updated privacy policy in the coming weeks.

The regulations give users greater powers to control how their data is used and the right to have data erased. Damien Kieran, Data Protection Officer at Twitter, says that the new terms are now visually clear and easy to use.

Facebook asks teenagers to name guardian or parent who will be able to give permission for sharing information on the social media platform. And it will likely be up to parents to try to actively enforce the limit - by reporting their own underage WhatApp-using kids to the company (which would then have to close the account).

The Facebook app has also setup an entity within the European Union to focus on implementing these different terms and "to meet the new high standards of transparency" that WhatsApp claims it will provide for its European Union users. GDPR also provides users the right to have the companies delete any of their data that the users deem fit. To control those settings, all you need to go to your account Settings and select Privacy and safety on the left menu.

On top of this, Facebook just announced new policies that bar developers from taking a number of actions on Facebook on behalf of users.

Facebook is also set to change its rules.

"When we receive reports of a bad actor sending unwanted messages - like SPAM or abusive content - on either WhatsApp or Facebook, we share information and can take action including blocking them across both services".

That could incorporate the make and model of the gadget they utilize, their contacts and gatherings and any blocked numbers.

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