This is the intimate and revealing information that WhatsApp will ask you to continue using it

The Digital Services Law and the Digital Markets Law are forcing many changes to the companies considered access gatekeepersdue to its predominant position in the technology sector, since 22 of its products that the EU has given the status of central services. The first group is made up of AlphabetAmazon, ManzanaByteDance, Goal and Microsoft and the second by WhatsApp, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, App Store, Meta Marketplace, Chrome, Safari, Android, iOS, Windows, YouTube, Google Search , Messenger and the Google, Meta and Amazon ad platforms.

In the case of WhatsApp, the greatest of all is the interoperability which will allow you to chat from the Meta app with users on other platforms such as Telegram, but it is not the only one.

European regulations require providers of large online platforms, such as WhatsApp, to ‘take specific measures to protect the rights of children,’ including age verification tools and parental monitoring, tools intended to help minors report abuse or obtain support, as appropriate.’ In other words, we must inform WhatsApp our date of birth and, consequently, agesomething the app has never asked for in its 15 years of existence.

The first step in this sense has been discovered by the specialized media WABetainfo in the beta of WhatsApp for Android. The media blames this change to a new legislature in some states of the United Stateslike Texas, which forces online services to verify the age of their users, but warns that it will reach ‘specific countries’ before the end of the year.

For these reasons, the app will present users with a new section in which it will ask them to confirm their age, a data that will be permanent and cannot be modified once entered. Nor may it be visible to other users, given that the reason for requesting it is only to comply with the required regulation.

We say it is a first step because asking a user to enter their age it is not the same as verifying it, something for which other methods will be needed, such as an identity document or a photograph of the user. It remains to be seen how Meta and other operators articulate this verification in the future.