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WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, has announced that it is lowering the minimum age for users in Europe to 13 years old. This change brings WhatsApp into compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets the minimum age for using online services that collect personal data at 13. Here’s what you need to know about this development:

Why the Change?

The GDPR, which went into effect in May 2018, aims to protect the privacy and data of individuals within the EU. One of its provisions is that online services must obtain parental consent before collecting personal data from children under the age of 13. By lowering its minimum age to 13, WhatsApp is aligning its policies with the GDPR requirements.

What Does This Mean for Users?

For users in Europe who are 13 years old or older, the change will have little impact. They will be able to continue using WhatsApp as they have been. However, for users under the age of 13, the change means that they will no longer be able to use WhatsApp unless they obtain parental consent.

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Obtaining Parental Consent

WhatsApp has not provided specific details on how users under the age of 13 can obtain parental consent. However, it is likely that they will need to have a parent or guardian create an account for them and agree to the terms of service and privacy policy on their behalf.

Privacy and Safety Considerations

While the change brings WhatsApp into compliance with the GDPR, it also raises privacy and safety concerns. Parents and guardians should be aware of the risks associated with their children using online services and take steps to educate them about privacy and safety best practices.


WhatsApp’s decision to lower the minimum age for users in Europe to 13 is a step towards compliance with the GDPR and aligning its policies with other online services. While the change may have little impact on users who are 13 years old or older, it underscores the importance of privacy and safety considerations for children using online services. Parents and guardians should stay informed about the apps and services their children are using and take steps to protect their privacy and safety online.

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