WhatsApp raises minimum age limit for European to 16

Almost 1.9 billion non-EU international users outside of the US and Canada would be protected by GDPR under current rules. This image shows privacy and ad preference menus added to Facebook

To make it more clear, WhatsApp has clearly said, they are not collecting personal information of its user in any way through the new agreement.

Aside from the age restriction change, the firm also announced that it will let users download the data that the service collects on them - this feature is being planned for roll out in the next update.

Two US senators, one Democrat and one Republican, introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at better protecting online privacy in response to the Facebook data scandal.

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Despite its avowed support for user data protection, WhatsApp has come under regulatory scrutiny in Europe in recent weeks for alleged plans to share user information such as phone numbers with parent company Facebook to improve ad targeting and other services.

Kershaw believes that if the age limits are being instigated over concerns of exposure to inappropriate content or advertising, it is other networking sites that should be raising the minimum age.

In line with Facebook, WhatsApp's minimum age of use will remain 13 across the rest of the world. Already WhatsApp's move to acquire additional information from its users in Europe to share it with Facebook has been distorted by European agencies. 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.

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It also includes specific rules to protect children from having their personal data collected for marketing purposes, or to create user profiles. "This feature will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app".

WhatsApp doesn't now ask users their age, nor does it link their accounts to Facebook or Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.

Facebook's approach to under 16s in Europe is slightly different.

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"Within the Privacy Policy, you'll find an efficient way to contact Twitter directly about any privacy concerns you may have", he said in the post, adding that only the Data Protection Officer, who is Kieran himself, and his team would have access to the questions asked by a user.

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