WhatsApp is probably the most popular instant messaging application in the world, but it also belongs to Facebook, and following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company makes changes to all of its services. For WhatsApp, the changes are minor, but they will especially affect minors as the service raises the minimum age required for access.
Beginning May 25th, all WhatsApp users must be at least 16 years of age in order to be able to use the service. This decision seems to be done to comply with the GDPR law that comes into force on the same date, with the data of minors being protected in a slightly more aggressive way. The application will require confirmation of age just before this date and will provide users with the new terms and conditions they will have to accept to continue using
At the same time, WhatsApp follows the Facebook example and gives all users the opportunity to download all the data stored on their personal account. Thus, you can locally store your entire contact list and blocked contacts list, but it is unclear what you can do with them once you download them
This capability is likely to be useful for Facebook, as under GDPR, the company is required to delete all user information on demand, so it is better to have them already organized in one place to ensure complete and quick removal as needed .
It's unclear what will happen to WhatsApp accounts of under-16s who keep in touch with parents through this service, as there does not seem to be a parenting option as it will be implemented on Facebook, for example. Also, it is not clear if they will be reactivated when users are of the age.