Kenya has intensified its scrutiny of Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency venture managed by OpenAI’s founder, Sam Altman. Recent reports indicate that Kenyan police conducted a raid on Worldcoin’s Nairobi facility on August 7 in order to access data.
During this operation, law enforcement officials seized documents and equipment from the facility. The purpose of this action is to investigate the data collected by the cryptocurrency initiative.
Worldcoin, operating under the auspices of Tools for Humanity, had previously encountered a suspension of operations by the Kenyan government because of security concerns, according to reports. This suspension was initiated by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki.
Kenyan Data Privacy Laws & Worldcoin’s Biometric Collection
The Data Commissioner for Kenya, Immaculate Kassait, voiced her concerns to the local media and asserted that the parent business of Worldcoin had not been upfront about their objectives during the registration process.
Legal provisions in Kenya favor the protection of individuals’ data privacy rights, requiring the acquisition or disclosure of personal information only in exigent circumstances. According to Kenyan regulations, Worldcoin’s collection of biometric data in exchange for cryptocurrency did not satisfy these requirements.
As of today, the market cap of cryptocurrencies stood at $1.12 trillion. Chart: TradingView.com
In addition, the Kenyan Capital Markets Authority expressed concern, noting that Worldcoin operates in the country without regulatory supervision. This raised concerns about individuals entrusting the organization with their data.
Worldcoin responded by saying it was willing to work with the authorities and outlining how it would restart operations following the implementation of “crowd-control measures.”
Notably, comparable concerns have arisen in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, among others. In these regions, investigations are ongoing into Worldcoin’s practice of accumulating biometric data in exchange for cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, European authorities have not suspended the company’s operations.
Source: The Block
Rise In Demand For Worldcoin’s ‘Global ID’ And Tokens
Worldcoin aimed to address concerns by providing clarification that it does not retain any data after the orbs create unique iris codes. As to their explanation, the iris codes generated for these spheres involve the utilization of images that are internally erased within the orbs, without any external transmission.
According to Worldcoin’s specification, the orbs feature sophisticated computing capabilities that enable real-time identity verification without the need for image transmission, uploading, or storage. Locally generated within the orbs is the computational representation of iris coding.
Despite this, regulators and privacy advocates maintain their skepticism and advocate for a thorough evaluation of the technology due to its perceived potential implications.
Amidst the legislative obstacles encountered in many jurisdictions, the “global ID” and accompanying tokens of Worldcoin have shown a notable upswing in demand subsequent to its recent introduction.
In the meantime, it’s crucial for the crypto community to closely monitor the unfolding developments of the Kenyan authorities’ actions against Worldcoin and how this will have an impact on the initiative’s cryptocurrency.
Featured image from Odhiambo Ogola