WhatsApp's Raising its Minimum Age to 16 in the EU

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying at the US Senate hearing this month about data handling

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying at the US Senate hearing this month about data handling

Following weeks of controversy regarding what data Facebook collects and how it's used, the company is jacking up efforts to make users feel more comfortable. "We'll also show you a simple chart that categorizes the legal basis for the personal data we process". Twitter also claims that the new update will give more clarity about how it shares our data to prevent harm, comply with the law, serve the public interest, and keep Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone.

Enforcement activity is expected to increase. Though European users will be the first to gain access to new privacy controls from the company, the settings will be eventually extended to all 2 billion users. You can request to download all your data from the platform, and Instagram will send you an email with a download link once it's managed to gather everything in one place.

The WhatsApp messaging service has raised the minimum age for its users in Europe and now the service will be unavailable to people younger than 16 years of age, according to the company's blog.

Facebook, by the way, has a big blue button for consent, but a mere hyperlink for deleting your account if you disagree with the new rules - even though deletion is the more momentous decision.


Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, during congressional testimony this month, said his company would apply the European standards to U.S. users. "Most importantly, you should have meaningful control over both", he added. Twitter says that is using this information "to better understand the use of services" and that is not associating the "web browsing history with your name, email address, phone number, or username".

In many cases, companies lack the systems and processes to ensure compliance with the new legislation which affects all companies holding and processing European Union citizen data. GDPR requires companies to report data breaches to the relevant regional authority within 72 hours of discovery, yet 41% of ITDMs believe they could not achieve this today.

"They're just trying to get away with business as usual", said Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer advocacy group.

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