WhatsApp is banning under-16s from using messaging app in Europe

WhatsApp has announced plans to raise its minimum age requirement from 13 to 16 for people based in Europe.

The messenger firm is bound to break some teenage hearts with the change, which will be implemented in the coming weeks. However, it hasn’t explained how it plans to enforce the new rule.

“If you live in a country in the European Region, you must be at least 16 years old to use our Services or such greater age required in your country to register for or use our Services,” WhatsApp’s new Terms of Service say. 13 remains the age limit in non-European regions.

The document continues: “In addition to being of the minimum required age to use our Services under applicable law, if you are not old enough to have authority to agree to our Terms in your country, your parent or guardian must agree to our Terms on your behalf.”

The changes were announced as the EU’s impending GDPR-compliance deadline approaches. From May 25, companies will have to be much more transparent about how they handle users’ data.

WhatsApp will also soon allow users to download a report detailing everything the app knows about you. “In the coming weeks, you will be able to see and download your WhatsApp account information and settings. This feature, Request Account Info, will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app,” the company says.

When the feature is made available, you’ll be able to use it by going to Settings, and tapping Account, Request account info, and Request report. WhatsApp says the report will be available to download around three days after you make the request, and will be deleted from the company’s servers “approximately a few weeks” later.

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