WhatsApp users in Europe will need to be at least 16 years of age to use the app. This is as per new data privacy rules that would come into effect from next month. The existing rules allowed anyone 13 years and older to use the app.
The new rules formulated by WhatsApp is also in accordance with new data privacy rules that is slated to come into effect in Europe starting May 25. The European General Data Protection Regulation law or GDPR, as the new privacy law has come to be known as has made it mandatory for tech firms to declare what user’s data they have collected. GDPR also provides users the right to have the companies delete any of their data that the users deem fit.
While GDPR has been in the making for some time, things did pick up steam in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that its parent firm Facebook has found itself embroiled in. This has also led to increased awareness among the users to be more vigilant of the data that the companies store and what use they make of it.
WhatsApp has however stated they will continue to enforce the minimum age limit at 13 years to start using the app elsewhere in the world. The messaging app has over 1.5 billion users but is being subjected to greater scrutiny given the fact that it shares user data with parent firm Facebook.
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The messaging firm has however reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding users privacy at all cost. Towards that, the company said it will also allow users to download the data it will be collecting. In any case, the data it collects from users does not range beyond the make and model of the device that the app is installed in, contacts, groups or any blocked numbers.