July 21, 2024
Kenya Parliament Urges Halt to Worldcoin Operations
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Kenyan Parliamentary Committee Calls for Halting Worldcoin Operations Amid Data Privacy Concerns

A parliamentary committee within the Kenyan government, responsible for investigating Worldcoin, has recommended that the project’s operations in the country be halted. In a report released on September 30 by Kenya’s parliament, it was revealed that Worldcoin had continued to gather personal data from Kenyan residents despite being ordered to cease such activities back in May. This collection of data potentially included information from minors, and the committee advised Kenyan authorities to disable the virtual platforms used by Worldcoin and to conduct investigations into the project’s associated companies for potential criminal charges.

The report highlighted that Worldcoin’s online app was still registering Kenyans, even in defiance of a court order and other administrative directives that had called for a complete halt to this process. Privacy concerns for Kenyan residents were cited in the report. However, it was deemed difficult or even impossible to determine the number of orbs (the devices used by Worldcoin for iris scans) in the country. The committee’s recommendations extended to urging the government to contemplate the establishment of a comprehensive framework for digital assets and virtual asset service providers in Kenya. Additionally, they suggested amending existing regulations to encompass cybercrime and tax reporting requirements. Lawmakers expressed their concerns, stating that the unregulated adoption and use of cryptocurrency as an attempt to fully decentralize the global monetary systems pose a threat to statehood.

Worldcoin, initially launched with the stated purpose of distinguishing real individuals from bots online through retinal scans for identity verification, had garnered millions of sign-ups by July. Nevertheless, the project has come under the scrutiny of regulators worldwide, who assert that it is bypassing regulations and guidelines pertaining to data protection and user privacy. Authorities in countries such as Germany, Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom have either expressed concerns about Worldcoin or initiated inquiries into its activities.

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