WhatsApp Lowers Age Limit to 13 in Europe, Updates Policies in Compliance with EU Regulations

In a recent development, messaging giant WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is set to lower its minimum age requirement across Europe, including Ireland, from 16 to 13. This change aims to establish a consistent global minimum age for users. The adjustment aligns with the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), two new EU regulations. WhatsApp is also updating its terms of service and privacy policies, incorporating information about guidelines, policies, and a new EU requirement allowing users to send messages to supported third-party apps.

The messaging service is revamping its international data transfer mechanisms, ensuring users in the European Region fall under the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework. This move follows Meta’s record €1.2 billion fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission for breaches related to personal data transfer. While Meta appeals the ruling, WhatsApp emphasizes that these updates maintain their commitment to user privacy and do not expand data sharing when messaging other users. The company assures users that personal messages remain protected with end-to-end encryption. Additionally, WhatsApp will provide more details to users of its ‘Channels’ service regarding content reporting and appeals.

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