Changes in WhatsApp: What users must accept to continue using the application

Whatsapp, the messaging app most popular in our country, will be the first to adapt to the new regulations of the European Union. The app, now under Meta ownership, is preparing for a critical change to its terms of service and privacy policies that will go live this Thursday, April 11. To continue using the application, all users will have to accept these new terms.

The central objective of the Digital Services Law and the Digital Markets Law – enacted by the European Commission in 2020 and now beginning to be applied in 2024 – is to balance power in the digital space and ensure the protection of user rights. These new regulations also include conditions for non-compliance, which could result in sanctions with fines of up to 10% of annual income for these companies.

This is the important change that comes to WhatsApp statuses.LoboStudioHamburg.Pixabay.

In addition to these updates in the terms of useWhatsApp will include starting this Thursday other news:

1. New minimum age

Also due to changes in European regulations, the minimum age to use WhatsApp is reduced from 16 to 13 years. This change is intended to align with age norms that apply in the rest of the world. However, no details have yet been provided on how WhatsApp plans to verify age of its users or how a Parental control in the use of the application.

2. Third Party Chats

WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger They will be compatible with each other and with other messaging applications. This means that from now on you will be able to access your conversations on other platforms, such as Telegram or Signal, directly from WhatsApp or Messenger. However, this will only be possible if these platforms comply with the security conditions imposed by Meta, which include the end to end encryption, which aims to guarantee the privacy of conversations. Although not all the details are known yet, what we do know is that these chats will appear in a separate tab, under the heading “Third party chats”. Thus, they will not interfere with the main screen of our WhatsApp conversations.

3. Padlock icon

All WhatsApp conversations were already end-to-end encrypted since 2016. This means that all of our messages are encrypted so that only the people who send and receive them can read them. So, when you send a message, it is 'encrypted' on your device and 'decoded' on the device of the person who receives it. Thus, the servers through which the message passes (including their own WhatsApp servers) cannot read the content of the message. In this way, all conversations sent through the messaging service are kept private and secure.

Now, WhatsApp has decided to go one step further in its commitment to privacy of the user. In order to provide a clear and direct visualization of the security of the conversations, the application has introduced a lock icon, which will be displayed below the title of each chat and will identify those conversations that are end-to-end encrypted and that they have not experienced any breach in privacy.