WhatsApp version 2.19.222 will arrive very soon and, fortunately or unfortunately, will bring with it the deletion of many accounts. According to the legal terms of the application owned by Facebook, children under the age of 16 will not be able to use the app.
This minimum age will affect both new users and those who already have their own account, so many children will lose their current accounts. Outside Europe, however, restrictions will be less stringent, as only children under the age of 13 will be prohibited from using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp already implemented this ban in 2012, and in 2016 lowered it to 13 years. Again, European legislation has raised it to 16 years with this latest update to come.
It is not known at the moment how the application will detect these accounts and ban them. Telephone numbers are reused when they are removed, so this ban could affect future users. Other applications such as Twitter, for example, automatically ban people whose date of birth is in 2007 or later (i.e. who are under 13), and prohibits the registration of new users who do not meet these age requirements.
For now, we will have to wait to know how WhatsApp will work with this new security measure in its 2.19.222 update that is still under development.