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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

WhatsApp Lowers Minimum User Age to 13


Sat 17 Feb 2024 | 10:37 PM
Israa Farhan

WhatsApp has significantly lowered its minimum user age requirement in numerous countries, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, from previously 16 years in certain regions to 13 years.

This decision has been criticized by experts as "negligent." Previously, the minimum age requirement for WhatsApp usage was not universally standardized across the globe. For instance, in the United States, the minimum age was 13 years, while it was 16 years in the UK and EU countries.

As of today, the age requirement for using WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has been standardized to 13 years across all countries, according to The Sun report.

WhatsApp stated in an announcement, " We've updated our Channels Privacy Policy to reduce the minimum age to use WhatsApp in the European Region from 16 to 13."

This update ensures a consistent minimum age requirement for WhatsApp users worldwide.

The minimum age in the UK and EU was 13 until 2018 when it was raised to 16 in response to data protection legislation.

Before today, the entry age for WhatsApp was 13 years in most countries worldwide, which is also the current minimum age for many internet services globally, including other messaging services like Signal and Viber.

Rani Govender, the NSPCC's Senior Policy Officer for Online Child Safety, expressed concern that opening WhatsApp to a larger number of younger children before implementing safety measures is negligent and worrisome.