A new Android beta reveals that Facebook will not let minors use the app
It was in 2018 when it was first discovered: WhatsApp could not be used in the future by children under 16 within the European space, and by children under 13 in other countries. That apocalyptic threat, given the number of teenagers using the popular application, seemed like a toast in the sun, but Wabetainfo has revealed that Facebook plans to make it effective in the next update of the Android app.
Those responsible for WhatsApp will begin to close the accounts of those users who do not meet the age requirements, and although it is not clear how it intends to carry it out, everything seems to indicate that it will be through the direct accusation of third parties. That is, if a minor is known to use the service, they can report to a specific email account so WhatsApp analyzes the information and proceeds to close that account.
The truth is that it was in 2018 when the firm belonging to the Facebook umbrella advanced to the application of the European GDPR to establish the aforementioned minimum age in its conditions of use; It was a way of protecting oneself from the Union bodies and transferring responsibility to the user. And the truth is that this ban is visible to any user in the FAQ of the application on Android, where you can read:
“If you reside in a country of the European Economic Area (including the European Union) or in any other country or territory that is part of it (jointly named European Region), you must be at least 16 years of age (or older, if so required by the legislation of your country) to register and use WhatsApp ”.
But the truth is that denouncing a child is not so easy and of course, it cannot be done anonymously: Facebook forces parents to report their own children and requires them to deliver all kinds of documents that prove not only the paternity, but also the ownership of the line. The doubts that arise are whether Facebook simply wants to comply with the regulations regarding data protection without a real interest in applying it.
The truth is that this is what was suspected to date, but the aforementioned update of the Android beta to 2.19.222 advances a “function” that facilitates the closure of the children’s account; that is, it would be a tool within the application itself. Facebook has been contacted without having, at the moment, any confirmation in this regard.