I'm aware that in 2018, the GDPR was adopted in the European Union, and in response, SE amended its license terms to require that all users from the EU be at least 16 to participate in the site. Previously, the age requirement was 13 worldwide (due to U.S. law).

What if, for example, someone created their account as a 13-year-old in 2017, fully compliant with the existing rules at the time, but suddenly found themselves being declared "underage" once the change took effect (i.e. would be 14 years old in May 2018, and 14 < 16)?

Were they required to leave the site and have all their information removed, just like how underage users are handled today?


Unfortunately, there is no "Grandfather Clause" in the provisions of GDPR. We are not allowed to collect nor retain any personally identifying information (PII) from any user residing in the EU under the age of 16. They would have to be removed like any other user under the age of 13 previously.

  • Many countries have adopted an age lower than 16 as the cut off, so this is incorrect. I can understand that SE might have chosen to simplify things by adopting 16 EU-wide, but that's a choice, not something compelled by law. – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 12 '19 at 21:36
  • @GS-ApologisetoMonica The question is about the GDPR reference in the TOS so, yes, we are talking about upholding the law(s) outlined in GDPR for users residing in those countries. – Robert Cartaino Nov 12 '19 at 22:00
  • Sorry, I don't get it. What does "not allowed to" mean? That GDPR doesn't allow you to, or that your own TOS don't allow you to? – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 12 '19 at 22:03
  • "Not allowed to" under the provisions of GDPR and by our TOS which state that we uphold those provisions for residents of the EU to be compliant. – Robert Cartaino Nov 13 '19 at 0:03
  • So I'm saying that you're wrong about the provisions of the GDPR. In some countries of the EU the cut-off age is less than 16 (e.g. in the UK it's 13). – GS - Apologise to Monica Nov 13 '19 at 5:21

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