WhatsApp is banning under-16s in Europe ahead of GDPR

The significant gap between data privacy and consumer trust. Source PRNews

However, it is not known how the messaging service will enforce the age limit, nor whether under-16s already using WhatsApp will be denied access following the new user policies.

The biggest change is that WhatsApp users, who previously had to be 13 years old, can no longer use the messaging platform.

Despite its avowed support for user data protection, WhatsApp has come under regulatory scrutiny in Europe in recent weeks for alleged plans to share user information such as phone numbers with parent company Facebook to improve ad targeting and other services.

The new tool that Facebook and WhatsApp will be rolling out will allow a user to download a copy of data that they have shared on the online social media platform.

Facebook too is in the process of tightening its privacy rules post the data breach scandal.

Lastly, Facebook said it now does not share WhatsApp account information to improve the ad experience on Facebook, however, it did reiterate that it plans to "work closer" with other Facebook companies in future. The age limit has been extended to 16 years from the earlier set age bar of 13 years.

More news: NBA Playoff Betting: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets

Users will be asked to confirm their age when prompted to agree new terms of service in the next few weeks.

WhatsApp revealed the changes in a blog posting, in which it pointed to the imminent introduction of the tougher privacy laws.

This is in part because a USA law - the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (Coppa) - bans online services from collecting personal information about younger children.

Klobuchar said: "Consumers should have the right to control their personal data and that means allowing them to opt out of having their data collected and tracked..."

Facebook will instead ask users aged between 13 and 15 to "gain parental permission for sharing personal information on the platform".

But WhatsApp said it still wanted to exchange data with its parent company in order to "work closer with other Facebook companies in the future". Although, it will soon give users the opportunity to download and see the "limited data" it collects on its users.

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