You now have to be at least 16 to use WhatsApp in Europe

Next month the EU is rolling out new privacy rules dubbed GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and that could have a big impact on some tech companies, including WhatsApp, which has announced that ahead of the rules coming into effect users in Europe now need to be 16 or older.

That’s up from the previous age requirement of 13, which still applies to the rest of the world. Notably this change seems to affect all countries in WhatsApp’s ‘European Region’, not just those in the EU.

The changes are already listed on WhatsApp’s site, and according to Sky News, WhatsApp will ask users to accept new terms of service in the coming weeks, and as part of that they’ll have to confirm that they’re at least 16.

It’s not yet clear how WhatsApp will verify a user’s age, but we imagine it will probably be reliant on honesty.

View your data

GDPR also requires greater transparency from companies as to what data they collect and how it’s used, and as such WhatsApp will also be allowing users to download and see that data in the coming weeks. That’s a change that will be coming worldwide.

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, is working on similar transparency changes, though it’s also moving the data of 1.5 billion users to avoid them falling under the new rules.

Via Engadget

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.