Snapchat Amends Policy to Limit Loss of User Base

In a move aimed at helping in the retention of its under-16s user base, Snapchat is altering changing its policy before the introduction of to GDPR on May 25.

In a move that is markedly different to the approach taken by WhatsApp, the messaging giant that announced it would remove all under-16s from using it’s services. Snapchat will begin retaining less private data of younger users of its services within the European Union, including exact location history seen in its Snap Map feature.

By making these move SnapChat hopes to avoid removing  millions of young users from availing of the app. SnapChat will allow anyone over the age of 13 to download and use the application but will have more restrictive rules for those aged from 13 to 16.

Snapchat was heavily criticised for the introduction of the lcoation-tracking Snap Map feature in mid-2017. The addition of the feature allowed users to view each others locations via the app. This will now be disabled for younger users.

SnapChat release a statement in relation to the moves which said: “To the extent Snap relies on consent to process personal data of users between 13 and 16, we will make the reasonable efforts required to confirm that consent has been given by someone who holds parental responsibility, while respecting the need to minimise further data collection.”

This is seen as an important move for the group and a response to the fact that shares in Snapchat’s parent company Snap dropped by 7%when WhatsApp revealed that it plans to would raise its minimum age for users in Europe to 16 in response to GDPR.

Snap has stated, its online help pages, that its data privacy practices “have been aligned with the principles underpinning the GDPR for a long time” whilesnapchat it was “in the process of evaluating all of the personal data that we store”