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In Europe, teenagers were banned from using WhatsApp

ITALY (OBSERVATORY) –┬áResidents of the European Union will be able to use the WhatsApp instant messenger only when they reach 16 years of age. This rule is introduced in terms of service provision and application privacy policy.

WhatsApp introduces restrictions for users from the European Union – henceforth the service will be available only to persons over 16 years of age. The messenger updated his terms of service in connection with the upcoming change to the EU data privacy law.

“If you live in a country of the European Union, you must be at least 16 years old to use our service.If you live in a non-EU country, you must be at least 13 years old or more to use our service if it requires the legislation of your country of residence … If you have not reached the age of consent under the laws of your country, you will need permission from your parents or guardians to accept the terms of use of the service, “the company’s blog says.

The reason for the restrictions was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which enters into force in the EU next month. The Regulation provides residents of the European Union with an opportunity to know exactly what information the companies keep about them.

Companies will need to establish consumer-oriented settings for the protection of personal data. In particular, users will be entitled to the complete removal of personal information, and for the use of these persons under 16 years will require the permission of the parents or guardians. For violations, companies face a fine of up to 20 million euros, or up to 4% of annual turnover, depending on the severity of the violation.

“You will be able to download and view the limited information that we collect, this option will be available to all our users around the world in the latest version of the application,” the WhatsApp blog says.

At the same time, users from other regions of the world can use the messenger from the age of 13, if this is allowed by the local laws of the particular state. WhatsApp has not yet disclosed the mechanism by which to check the age of registered or existing users.

The company’s blog also has a guide to the request for personal data, which stores about the company’s users. To do this, you will need to select the menu items “Settings”, then “Request information about the account” and “Download report.” Information will be presented in the form of an HTML file, packed in a zip-archive. It will be a profile photo, names in group chats and other information, but among them there is no history of correspondence.

Facebook, which has a special information policy department, uses an entirely different approach for adolescents aged 13 to 15 to comply with the European Data Protection Regulation Act. In particular, the social network asks their parent or guardian to give children permission to share information on the platform.

Otherwise, such users see an incomplete version of the pages on Facebook and can not use all the additional functions and suggestions provided by social network representatives to adult users.