27 April, 2018, 00:24 | Author: Inez Murphy
In the next few weeks, WhatsApp will ask European users to confirm if they are at least 16 years old.
The current minimum age is 13, but from May 25 and with the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Facebook-owned company will increase for those inside the EU. "You have the final say about whether and how we process your personal data".
The age limit will remain at 13 years in the rest of the world, as is the case with most social media apps including Snapchat and Twitter.
According to the statement, users from other countries can continue using the messenger after the age of 13 years, if it does not contradict the legislation of the country of residence. It's not yet clear how that will take shape, but it'll undoubtedly make use of the information it knows about you to help provide relevant advertising on Facebook services. The app captured data on an estimated 87 million Facebook users, though Kogan indicated on CBS News' "60 Minutes" that other apps may have done the same thing and the amount of personal data shared may be much higher.
Tech giants including Apple, Inc. plan to give people in the United States and elsewhere the same privacy protections and rights that Europeans will gain post-GDPR. Additionally, the companies are also required to notify users about all types of data collection and data sharing with third-parties.
Matthew Kershew, director of content at Iris, an advertising agency and management consultancy, says WhatsApp's new policy is "just a gesture", and is likely to be unenforceable.
There are also rules created to protect children from having their data collected.
It is not confirmed yet that how would the company be verifying the answers provided by the users, given the limited data asked and held by the service. However, it hasn't explained how it plans to enforce the new rule. They allow European Union citizens to know what data about them are stored online as well as to provide the right to request removal of this information. 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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