To comply with new European regulations, WhatsApp has raised their minimum age from 13 to 16 years, effectively making a chance that will be mandatory for every tech company working in the European Union (EU) starting on May 25.
“WhatsApp has established an entity within the European Union to provide your services there and to meet the new high standards of transparency for how we protect the privacy of our users,” the company detailed in a recent blog post.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expands and updates rules that have been in place in the EU since 1995, way before hacks, data leaks, and security breaches were common. The new legislation gives European users more control over personal data and requires that companies obtain individual consent from every user to store and process their personal data, and only for a short period at that.
In the case of anyone under 16, the companies handling personal data will have to have consent from a parent or guardian, and are responsible for “reasonable efforts to verify” the ages.
WhatsApp will also make available for all users to download any personal data the company has stored. “In the coming weeks, you will be able to download and see the limited data that we collect. This feature will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app,” the company’s blog post reads.