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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

WhatsApp working on a new feature to ban accounts that don’t meet minimum age requirement: Report

The minimum age requirement for non EU users to join WhatsApp is 13 years.

tech Updated: Aug 16, 2019 14:47 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ re-branding is coming sooner than expected
‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ re-branding is coming sooner than expected(HT Photo)

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature to ban accounts that don’t meet age requirement.

WhatsApp last year updated the age-limit following the implementation of GDPR. European users need to be at least 16 years old to join WhatsApp. Earlier, the limit was 13 years old. For non EU users, the age limit is 13 years.

“You must be at least 13 years old to use our Services (or such greater age required in your country for you to be authorized to use our Services without parental approval). 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,” according to WhatsApp’s terms of service.

Right now, it’s not clear how WhatsApp will verify users’ age limit to ban their accounts.

‘WhatsApp From Facebook’

Facebook is making sure that everyone knows it owns WhatsApp, also the world’s most popular instant messaging app. The company recently announced it will start adding Facebook branding on its key products such as WhatsApp and Instagram. The change seems to be closer than expected as WhatsApp’s latest beta version has ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ branding.

The ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ branding can be spotted at the bottom of in-app Settings page. Facebook has already begun adding “Instagram from Facebook”. The change comes months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced unifying Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms.

WhatsApp from Facebook re-branding is here.
WhatsApp from Facebook re-branding is here. ( HT Photo/Screenshot )

Even as the three services will continue as standalone applications, experts have expressed concerns over the unification plans. Some experts believe the move could impact the end-to-end encryption, one of the most important security features of WhatsApp.

“I’m cautiously optimistic it’s a good thing,” former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos had said. “My fear was that they were going to drop end-to-end encryption.”

Since Zuckerberg’s announcement, Facebook has rolled out a few features that allow users to cross post content from one app to another. For instance, WhatsApp users can share their Status directly to Facebook.


First Published: Aug 16, 2019 14:37 IST

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