WhatsApp has long attracted the attention of child safety campaigners due to its use of end to end encryption, which makes the collection of evidence in cases of grooming next to impossible.
WhatsApp also has an age requirement of 16, yet there is no effective age verification, and many children under the age of 16 use it.
Commenting on the new WhatsApp function Our Head of Service and Safer Schools, Colin Stitt Said:
“As the digital sphere continues to infiltrate every aspect of our relationships, we’re now at the point where ‘sexting’ and image sharing has arguably become the norm, and there are rightly concerns that children will have unfounded expectations of privacy with disappearing messages.
The mainstreaming of encryption of Apps that provide ‘disappearing messaging’ functions makes the detection and prosecution of online sexual crimes against children and young people even more difficult.”