The popular messaging service, WhatsApp, would soon be banned under 16 years old. Until now, it was reserved for people aged at least 13 years but the application wants to raise the minimum age of use in Europe, reports BBC.
The company wants to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force on May 25 in the EU.
The Facebook affiliate has sent notifications to all its users to confirm that they are old enough to use WhatAapp.
However, the platform has not revealed how it will ensure compliance with the minimum age.
According to Ofcom, Whatsapp is the most used app in the UK for 12-15 year olds. It’s the fifth most popular social network after Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.
The chief executive of Childnet International, a charity member of Facebook’s security advisory committee, said he thinks the platform still has work to do to communicate change.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will come into force on May 25, will allow citizens to better control how companies use their information.
It also includes specific rules to protect young people whose personal data are processed in order to provide them with online services.
These websites and applications will be required to “make reasonable efforts to verify” that a parent or guardian has given consent to have their child’s data processed.
WhatsApp, which has been scrutinized for past data-sharing practices, said its decision would help it comply with the “new standards of transparency” in the EU.
However, the app plans to keep its age limit at 13 years in the rest of the world.