WhatsApp from today forbidden to minors under 16 years old

The messaging app updates the conditions of use to GDPR: in order to continue sending messages you must confirm that you are 16 years old

It was already talked about for a few weeks, but many believed it was nothing more than a hoax. Instead, it was all true. From today, with the release of the latest update, WhatsApp is forbidden to minors under 16 years old. A measure made necessary by the GDPR, the new European regulation for the protection of personal data.

As previously explained, Article 8 of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union provides that to use some online services - such as Facebook, Instagram and, precisely, WhatsApp - you must be at least 16 years old, or the permission of a parent or guardian. And in view of the entry into force of the GDPR, scheduled for next May 25, all companies that have to do with the processing of user data have been forced to revise their conditions of use. Among them, of course, there is WhatsApp.

WhatsApp forbidden to minors under 16 years old, is it true?

As will have noticed all those who have updated WhatsApp between yesterday evening and today morning, before you can start sending messages to your contacts you must accept the new conditions of use of the platform. After doing so, a second screen appears in which you are asked whether or not you are 16 years old: an essential condition imposed, as mentioned, by the new GDPR. At this point, users have two options: press the "Not now" button at the top right, or flag the option "Confirm that you are 16 years old" and press Accept. Nel caso in cui non si inserisca la spunta, WhatsApp avvisa che è impossibile proseguire e, quindi, accedere alla lista delle conversazioni; se invece si preme su “Non adesso”, si potrà continuare a chattare per un periodo di tempo limitato. Insomma, chi non ha 16 anni non può più usare WhatsApp.


Le schermate dell’aggiornamento dei termini e condizioni di WhatsApp. Obbligatorio confermare di avere 16 anni

Come aggirare l’ostacolo

Questo, però, solo in apparenza. WhatsApp, infatti, non compie alcuna verifica supplementare sul fatto che si abbiano o meno 16 anni: basterà inserire la spunta quando richiesto, premere su Accetto e si potrà continuare a chattare anche se non si è ancora raggiunta l’età minima. Un approccio completamente differente rispetto a Instagram, piattaforma social anch’essa di proprietà di Facebook e particolarmente apprezzata dagli adolescenti. The photographic social platform par excellence, in fact, asks the under 16s for the email address of a parent or guardian and asks them to confirm the age of the teenagers. A slightly more complex system, but one that apparently provides a higher level of security.