Europe's minimum age limit for WhatsApp is 16 years


However, it is not known how the messaging service will enforce the age limit, nor whether under-16s already using WhatsApp will be denied access following the new user policies.

The document continues: "In addition to being of the minimum required age to use our Services under applicable law, if you are not old enough to have authority to agree to our Terms in your country, your parent or guardian must agree to our Terms on your behalf". Alternatively it could be that WhatsApp could do what Facebook does for its younger users, where Facebook will require users to nominate a parent/guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform.

According to a report last year by Ofcom, a third of all 12-15-year-olds in the United Kingdom who are active on social media use WhatsApp.

That made it the fifth most popular social network with the age group after Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

Many tech companies are announcing updates to their privacy policy owing to the imminent launch of Europes General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy, which will come into effect on May 25, 2018. The rules are created to bolster existing data privacy rules and give individuals more say over how their personal information is used.

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp also affirmed that it would not ask for new rights from the European Union to get any personal information from its people and the data available with it will be secured.

The real change coming out of the new law is that Europeans now have "the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted", as Reuters puts it. The minimum age will remain 13 for the rest of the world.

To make it more clear, WhatsApp has clearly said, they are not collecting personal information of its user in any way through the new agreement.

Facebook's approach to complying with the new rules will instead be to ask teens ages 13 to 15 to gain parental permission for sharing personal information on the platform. Failing to do so, they will not be able to see a fully personalised view of the platform.