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Communications EU Facebook Privacy The Internet Your Rights Online

WhatsApp Raises Minimum Age In Europe To 16 Ahead of Data Law Change (reuters.com) 39

WhatsApp is raising its minimum age from 13 to 16 in Europe to help it comply with new data privacy rules coming into force next month. The app will ask European users to confirm they are at least 16 years old when they are prompted to agree to new terms of service and a privacy policy provided by a new WhatsApp Ireland entity in the next few weeks. Reuters reports: Facebook, which has a separate data policy, is taking a different approach to teens aged between 13 and 15 in order to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. It is asking them to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform, otherwise they will not see a fully personalized version of the social media platform. But WhatsApp, which had more than 1.5 billion users in January according to Facebook, said in a blog post it was not asking for any new rights to collect personal information in the agreement it has created for the European Union. WhatsApp's minimum age of use will remain 13 years in the rest of the world, in line with its parent.
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WhatsApp Raises Minimum Age In Europe To 16 Ahead of Data Law Change

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  • This is stupid, I have been on the internet since i was a kid. I cant tell you how many times I said i was 13 when I was under.. And even more saying I was 18 when I was nowhere close. I am by no means advocating for having to give ID and prove someone is a certain age, I however this these kinds of laws are bullshit and everyone knows what really happens.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      It might not stop kids from lying. But AI is getting better at weeding out underage users. And finding the real identities behind Internet pseudonyms. The result being people getting their accounts suspended [slashdot.org].

      • There are plenty of ways around this, unless people are going to completely block anonymous(proxy's and ToR) communication with their servers.

    • No, kid under age will not actually click the "16+" button on WhatsApp's authorisation page...

      ...for the simple reason that they don't use WhatsApp.
      They tend to hang out on SnapChat.

      (Which is the reason why the Zuck is nervous about them : there the only successful social app that he didn't manage to buy like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.)

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2018 @08:31AM (#56499277)

      This is stupid, I have been on the internet since i was a kid. I cant tell you how many times I said i was 13 when I was under.. And even more saying I was 18 when I was nowhere close. I am by no means advocating for having to give ID and prove someone is a certain age, I however this these kinds of laws are bullshit and everyone knows what really happens.

      Like any age gate, enforcing the age restriction isn't important, it's about making an effort to say "we put in an age gate, we've complied with the law". Likewise, the law requiring an age gate is arse covering for the politicians so they can say "we've made all these sites put in an age gate... we're doing Something(TM), re-elect Shonkey McShonkface for governor" and the "think of the Children" crowd get a warm fuzzy feeling about all the children they're protecting.

  • That's some serious spacetime manipulation IP they got there.

  • ...they could just stop collecting so much data in Whatsapp. I wonder how many of its users are actually under-16? My kids and lots of their school friends use it for school work as well as personal contact. Most of them don't have Facebook accounts. Seems like a bad decision to kick your future user-base out of your ecosystem.
    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      It has nothing to do with them collecting "so much data".

      Literally, if you store somebody's name, you come under GDPR legislation.

      GDPR is a huge change / consolidation of existing case law in data protection and has massive implications for EVERYONE. Fact is, a 13-year-old could never consent to their personal data being used anyway - only if someone did it on their behalf. It was just assumed that nobody would bother.

      (For instance, in the UK, age of "legal consent" for contracts is 16 - gosh where have I

  • I mean , how do you remotely verify age. take a selfie and picture of your drivers license. I guess that would be a start, that would at least prove there was someone with a drivers license, your registered name and that looks something like you ( assuming you could access DMV records) . Still talk about a privacy nightmare. Maybe some kind of third party verifier would be better.

  • UK is adopting 13 as age of consent in Data Protection Bill.

    I think this is just WhatsApp not wanting to deal with underage issues - e.g. bullying / adult content. This has absolutely nothing to do with Data Protection.

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