WhatsApp raises minimum user age to 16 ahead of GDPR

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Relying on Facebook or Instagram accounts is likely out of the question, seeing as how the ICO has ruled WhatsApp and Facebook aren't allowed to share user's data.

The chief executive of Childnet International - a charity that is a member of Facebook's Safety Advisory Board - said he thought the firm had more work to do to communicate the change.

WhatsApp is raising the minimum age of its users in Europe from 13 to 16 to comply with the new data protection rules. As per its new privacy policy that would apply to the European region, all users between 13 and 15 will be required to have a parent or legal guardian agree to their ward using the social media platform.

If they don't get permission, teems will get a generic version of Facebook that's not customised for them.

If you're using WhatsApp in Europe, you may find yourself needing to verify your age or the age of a minor in the coming weeks.

Facebook and Twitter, along with many other organizations, have started the process of making changes to their privacy policies in order to conform with the new regulations and to make it simpler for the users to understand how their data is utilized.

"Our goal is simply to explain how we use and protect the limited information we have about you", Facebook said about the new WhatsApp regulation.

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The real change coming out of the new law is that Europeans now have "the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted", as Reuters puts it.

Facebook, which has also been criticised for its handling of personal data, is taking a different approach to younger users on its main service.

Moreover, the minimum age required for a WhatsApp users will remain 13 years in rest of the world in-line with its parent company.

European Union was chiefly concerned over WhatsApp's sharing of user data with Facebook, its parent company.

Ahead of GDPR, there is a clear trend toward greater control over how and when children access digital platforms, most likely a reaction to the concern about data privacy issues by parents and regulators.

The rules give Europeans more control over their personal data.