WhatsApp raises minimum age in Europe to 16

Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai. Source REUTERS  Jason Lee

WhatsApp users in Europe will now have to be at least 16 years of age to use the platform.

In line with Facebook, WhatsApp's minimum age of use will remain 13 across the rest of the world.

Companies across all sectors will have to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation when the new regime is rolled out on May 25.

However it is unclear at this stage how the Facebook owned company intends to enforce this increasing of the age limit.

It's not now known how WhatsApp will enforce or even verify its new age limit.

Facebook won't be mirroring WhatsApp's new minimum age policy, though.

"Remember, everyone around the world can use the controls we highlight to limit the information we collect about you or how we use it, and change the settings at any time", Kieran wrote.

The new laws also give regulators the power to fine corporations up to 4 per cent of their global turnover or €20 million, whichever is larger, for failing to meet the tough new data protection requirements. 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.

This is in part because a United States law - the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (Coppa) - bans online services from collecting personal information about younger children.

Facebook's approach to complying with the new rules will instead be to ask teens ages 13 to 15 to gain parental permission for sharing personal information on the platform.

GDPR is one of Europe's biggest overhaul of online privacy, which gives Europeans the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted.

WhatsApp suspended the change in Europe after widespread regulatory scrutiny. While announcing about this feature, WhatsApp ensured that it will not ask for new rights for collecting personal information of users following this new update. WhatsAppp will also be following in the footsteps of Facebook and Instagram, letting users download all the data the company has collected - including phone model, network, and blocked numbers.

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