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WhatsApp to lower age requirement from 16 to 13

Messaging service WhatsApp is to lower its minimum age requirement in Ireland and across Europe from 16 to 13.

The app, which is owned by social media giant Meta, said it is making the change to ensure there is a consistent minimum age requirement globally.

WhatsApp said it is also updating its terms of service and privacy policies in response to two new EU regulations, the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

It is adding more information to its terms about guidelines and policies, which describe what is or is not allowed on WhatsApp.

It will include details about a new EU requirement that gives users the option to send messages from WhatsApp to supported third-party apps.

The app is making changes to its international data transfer mechanisms which means users in the European Region will be covered under the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework.

Last year, Meta was fined a record €1.2 billion by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaches relating to the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US.

The company is appealing the ruling.

WhatsApp also announced today that users of its “Channels” service will be given further information about reporting content and appealing decisions.

“These updates for users in the European Region do not change our commitment to user privacy and do not expand any data sharing when messaging other WhatsApp users,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

“Wherever you are in the world, we protect all personal messages with end-to-end encryption, which means no one, not even WhatsApp, can read or listen to them.” they added.

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