Instant messaging app WhatsApp owned by Facebook Inc has raised the age bar to use its services in Europe. Informing about the latest change in age limit, WhatsApp wrote, “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.”
“If you live in any other country except those in the European Region, you must be at least 13 years old to use our Services or such greater age required in your country to register for or use our Services. 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,” WhatsApp said.
It is however not clear as to how the messaging app will ascertain the age of the users, media reports say that the new age update is meant to help it comply with new data privacy rules coming into force next month.
WhatsApp, founded in 2009, has come under pressure from some European governments in recent years because of its end-to-end encrypted messaging system and its plan to share more data with its parent, Facebook.
Facebook itself is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.