WhatsApp age limit rising to 16 in Europe

The rule change comes as new data privacy rules roll out in the EU next month.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
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Teenagers may need to wait a while if they want to  WhatsApp  their friends in Europe.

That's because the messaging service is raising its age limit to 16 from 13 in the region due to new EU data privacy rules. Users will have to confirm their age when WhatsApps rolls out its new terms of service, the company said in a blog post. This change comes about as France plans to build its own non-WhatsApp messaging service.

The service also confirmed that it won't be sharing account information with Facebook, and that it will take a more active approach in blocking spam or abusive content across both Facebook and WhatsApp. There will also be an option to download and view the data that the company collects on you, and will be rolled out across the world, and isn't just limited to Europe.

The Facebook-owned messaging service is very popular globally, with more than 1.5 billion monthly active users. While its parent company has been hit with data breach issues, WhatsApp has been relatively scandal-free so far, as messages sent on its servers are secured with end-to-end encryption, preventing malicious users from listening in to a conversation.