WhatsApp’s New Rule: Enter Your Birthdate to Continue Chatting!


WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform, is reportedly preparing to introduce age verification for users in Europe. This move comes as the minimum age requirement for using the app in the region recently decreased to 13 years old. Currently, there’s no built-in verification system, relying solely on user self-declaration.

WhatsApp to Implement Age Verification in Europe, Aligning with Evolving Regulations

According to WaBetaInfo, a website specializing in WhatsApp updates, the platform will soon include a new setting prompting users to enter their date of birth. This information will be used to confirm that they meet the minimum age threshold. Importantly, the birthdate will be hidden from other users’ profiles and cannot be modified once entered.

This approach mirrors Instagram’s strategy in 2018, where users were required to enter their birth year to ensure they met the age requirement.

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While WhatsApp previously requested users to confirm being 16 years old through a simple checkbox system (circa 2018), this new measure signifies a more proactive approach towards age verification. It’s likely that users who confirmed their age through the checkbox method (currently at least 22 years old) won’t need to re-enter their birthdate.

The impetus for this change is likely twofold. Firstly, new age verification legislation is emerging in several US states. Secondly, the European Union’s recently enacted Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) prioritize protecting minors online. Identifying underage users on the platform is a crucial first step towards achieving this goal.

While the current minimum age for WhatsApp usage in Europe is 13, Meta, the platform’s parent company, lacks a definitive way to verify a user’s age. The upcoming age verification setting aims to address this gap. However, the exact rollout date and specific implementation details remain unclear.

This shift towards stricter age verification reflects a broader industry trend towards prioritizing online safety and complying with evolving regulations. By implementing this system, WhatsApp can ensure a safer environment for its users. Particularly younger ones, while aligning itself with legal requirements.

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This refined approach to age verification not only benefits users but also fosters a more trustworthy and responsible online ecosystem.

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