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Financial Times / Biz - Money

Snapchat to stop retaining some data on under 16s in Europe

Snapchat plans to stop retaining certain data about users under the age of 16 in Europe, including precise location history, in order to comply with new EU privacy regulations.

A Snap spokesperson told the Financial Times that anyone in Europe over the age of 13 - its minimum age globally - would still be able to sign up for and use Snapchat following the introduction of GDPR next month. However, the company will no longer process any data that might require parental consent, including retaining geo-location history. 

The move is intended to allow the California-based company to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation without having to cut off millions of younger teenagers from using its app. 

The new regime bans companies from processing personal information of children under 16 unless parents or legal guardians provide consent. Individual EU countries will also be able to determine their own age limit for consent on handling data for teenagers between 13 and 16 years old. 

Shares in Snapchat’s parent company Snap fell by 7 per cent on Wednesday after WhatsApp, a rival messaging app, said it would raise its minimum age for users in Europe to 16 in response to GDPR.