Amid Overwhelming Demand, Kenya Suspends Worldcoin Registrations

The Kenyan government has suspended the activities of web3 startup Worldcoin, known for its biometric registration efforts, following overwhelming demand from Kenyan citizens to register for the platform.

The country’s Ministry of the Interior issued a decree to halt the iris-scanning “Orbs” registration process. The suspension comes amidst concerns from data protection authorities in France, Germany, and the UK, who have also initiated investigations into Worldcoin’s practices.

Worldcoin, founded by Sam Altman, offers free cryptocurrency to users who undergo iris scans for its “proof of personhood” verification. Thousands of Kenyans have been queuing up at registration centers to access the currency, valued at around $49. However, the Kenyan Communications Authority raised concerns about the storage of biometric data, offering money in exchange for data, and the vast amount of data in the hands of a private company.

In response to the suspension, Worldcoin stated that it plans to collaborate with the government and implement crowd-control measures before resuming work. It emphasized its adherence to Kenyan regulations and highlighted its goal of creating a global “identity and financial network” as a public utility. The company aims to provide universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background.

As Worldcoin faces the suspension of its activities in Kenya, the web3 startup is also under scrutiny in several other countries. Germany’s data privacy watchdog has been investigating the company since November of last year, expressing concerns about the large-scale processing of sensitive biometric data without explicit consent. The French privacy watchdog CNIL has initiated its own investigation into Worldcoin’s practices, and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has expressed its intention to inquire into the company’s operations.

These investigations reflect growing global concerns about data protection and privacy risks associated with the widespread collection and storage of biometric data. As the scrutiny intensifies, Worldcoin will need to address the regulatory challenges in multiple jurisdictions to regain trust and ensure compliance with data protection laws.

Source: BBC News

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.