What users need to know: WhatsApp soon only starting from 16? Messenger plans to raise the minimum age
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WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users worldwide. Many students use the service to chat with friends, send videos, or share stickers. But that could soon be a thing of the past, because in the terms and conditions has been a new age for a few days.
According to rumors, WhatsApp raises the minimum age for use. Users must be at least 16 years old to use the service. The terms and conditions – which continue to apply – are: “You must be at least 13 years old to use our services.” In other cases, users need the consent of their parents or guardians. WhatsApp raises the minimum age As the Watchblog WABetaInfo reports, the change should take effect on 25th May at the latest. The background to this is the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), which then enters into force in 28 countries of the European Union. It stipulates that users’ data may only be processed if they are at least 16 years old. Because WhatsApp basically collects and evaluates data, the service also falls under this law.
However, individual states such as the USA may reduce this age to 13 years. In Germany, the minimum age is 16, as stated in the new Federal Data Protection Act. Are students not allowed to use WhatsApp anymore? But! However, only with the consent of the legal guardian. WhatsApp needs to be aware of the new terms and users must also agree to the new terms. Possible that Whatsapp informed via pop-up window. Anyone under the age of 16 needs at WhatsApp then, in principle, always the consent of the parent or guardian. You must grab the smartphone, read the terms and conditions and then agree. Only then WhatsApp may actually be used. WhatsApp eludes responsibility Of the Certified Solicitor Christian Solmecke sees the potential change critically. Because with an increase of the minimum age to 16 WhatsApp would be out of responsibility:
Lawyer Christian Solmecke
“In my opinion, the change of the entry age only takes place here, so that the regulations of the GDPR for the protection of minors do not have to be observed.According to the new legal situation from 25 May, it is so that children and young people under 16 actually in Germany the consent parents need to use social networks. ”
“If now WhatsApp offers its service only to young people from 16 years, at least the consent of the parents is obsolete,” says Solmecke. What happens if you do not agree to the new rules? Unless users agree to the new terms, WhatsApp may deny their use. Possible that WhatsApp then urgently demands that the new terms and conditions must be approved. In extreme cases, users can no longer see the chats, groups and statuses of their contacts. How should the age be checked? Of course that’s not so easy. Nevertheless, lawyer Solmecke says: An age check must continue to take place at WhatsApp – even if it does not require parental consent. “In my opinion, the simple statement ‘I am 16’ will not be sufficient in the future, and in the future will lead to numerous discussions among the data protection officers,” says Solmecke. In Video: WhatsApp Trap: Who has your number, you can watch easily
According to lawyer Nico Werdemann, it would be conceivable that the age would be determined and verified by means of a double-opt-in procedure. “In this case, the minor indicates another e-mail address, that of a parent to whom a confirmation link will be sent Facebook “, the lawyer for information technology law said “BILD” newspaper , According to Solmecke, other types of verification would also be an identity card number or account or credit card number. Can parents be held liable if their child spreads bullying content via WhatsApp and is under the age of 16? It could be loud in the future Lawyer Solmecke In addition, parents register with their data at WhatsApp, but the children use the account. Here it behaves similarly as in the file sharing, that only times the telephone numbers and thus only the parents are determined. This means that the parents then have to explain that the child also had access to their account so as not to be held liable. Further Solmecke says: “If then violations of the account are committed, are liable either the children as perpetrators – but according to German civil law only if they were at least 7 years old and had the necessary insight into their misconduct.” Here it depends on the individual case. “If the children are not liable, the liability of the parents is due to the violation of their duty to supervise.”
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