WhatsApp won't let under-16s use the platform in Europe

How Europe's New Privacy Rules Favor Google and Facebook

The WhatsApp messenger will raise the minimum age of its users are 13 to 16 years to comply with the new rules the European Union data protection (GDPR) which will come into force next month.

Facebook's raising WhatsApp's minimum age to 16 in Europe, as the company prepares to iron its shirt ahead the forthcoming instalment of the General Data Protection Regulation.

WhatsApp is making a change to the service that now requires users to be 13 years or over to use its service or 16 years when it comes to the EU. The company accepts that it collects some personal information for you like the type of device you're using - be it a smartphone or laptop, as well as your IP address.

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.

WhatsApp haven't yet announced how they intend to keep under-16s off the platform, but with a quarter of all 13-16 year olds using WhatsApp in the United Kingdom alone, they have a tough job on their hands.

Though, the company did not make it clear how it will verify users' age given the limited data it asks to provide from its users. However, it hasn't explained how it plans to enforce the new rule. Facebook went on to describe how if users change their ad privacy settings through the GDPR prompts to allow less targeting, ads could be less effective, so advertisers would pay less for them.

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Facebook Inc. -owned Instagram recently made a few changes, just a week after Facebook announced a slew of new privacy protections to its own platform.

With that in mind, if all a user has to do to confirm their age is tick a box, it's not really meeting the requirements of GDPR.

Facebook began its GDPR privacy rollout last week.

If permission is not provided, the user will not see a fully personalised version of the social network.

The IDPC's head of compliance David Cauchi said data about individuals - through use of services such as the cloud - can often be processed sometimes in jurisdictions which do not have the best data protection regimes.

WhatsApp are also giving users the ability to download a report detailing all the information the company holds on them.

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