Twitter Announces Updated Privacy Policy And Terms Of Service

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

FACEBOOK-OWNED WhatsApp is banning under-16s from using its service in Europe in order to comply with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

"If you live in a country in the European region, you must be at least 16 years old to use our services", WhatsApp said on its website. Those updates applied to users worldwide, the company said, and created new alerts to signal when Apple collects user data.

Privacy advocates warn that these changes won't fundamentally change the relationship between consumers and tech companies, many of which make their profits by collecting data on users, building individual profiles and selling advertising based on the resulting troves of data.

According to Reuters, WhatsApp is raising its minimum age from 13 to 16 in the EU.

It is not confirmed yet that how would the company be verifying the answers provided by the users, given the limited data asked and held by the service.

At present, WhatsApp does not ask users their age when they join, nor does it cross-reference their Facebook or Instagram accounts to find out.

In a month from now, the most powerful data privacy regulation laws will come into effect.

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.

It said: "As we have said in the past, we want to work closer with other Facebook companies in the future and we will keep you updated as we develop our plans".

Independent analyst Richard Windsor, despite being bearish, also doubts Facebook has much to fear from the GDPR regulator - Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) will be responsible for overseeing Facebook because its main European Union office is in Dublin.

Specifically, it states that processing a child's data is only legal when they are aged at least 16, or a parent or guardian has given consent on behalf of their child. This feature will be rolling out to ass users around the world on the newest version of the app'. That's unfair to users whose data are coming to Facebook from a multitude of hard-to-track sources, some of which they'd surely like to cut off.

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