WhatsApp to raise minimum age limit to 16 in EU


WhatsApp will ask European users to confirm they are at least 16 years old when they are prompted to agree new terms of service and a privacy policy provided by a new WhatsApp Ireland Ltd entity in the next few weeks. Additionally, the messaging service has made a FAQ sheet available for its upcoming data download tool, detailing how it will work.

It seems that in order to comply with new regulations being introduced in Europe, a report from Sky News has revealed that one of the changes that WhatsApp will be making is a new requirement for its users to be at least 16 before using their app. In regions outside of Europe, the minimum age to use WhatsApp is still 13.

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The issue that WhatsApp will run into is how it will verify users' age.

Users of the popular instant messaging service now have to be at least 13 years old, but the company is enforcing stricter rules ahead of the introduction of new data privacy rules in the European Union next month. Facebook itself will also modify its handling of accounts for users between the age of 13 and 15. You can read the new rule in WhatsApp's updated Terms of Service agreement. It's unclear how Facebook plans to do this seeing as it claims that user messages are encrypted, there's not really any other information they could glean to make ads more appropriate for users.

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If permission is not provided, the user will not see a fully personalised version of the social network.

GDPR is the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, giving Europeans the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted.

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For its part, Apple will still claim the cash as "restricted free cash" on its balance sheets until all appeals are exhausted. Donohoe said Ireland would, however, comply with its "binding legal obligations" as a European Union member state.

WhatsApp suspended the change in Europe after widespread regulatory scrutiny.