March 27, 2024
Spain Halts Worldcoin's Data Collection Operations
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Spain Halts Worldcoin’s Data Collection Operations

The Spanish Agency for the Protection of Data (AEPD) has issued a directive to Worldcoin, a product/service developed by Tools for Humanity, instructing the entity to halt its data collection and processing activities in Spain. The temporary order, effective for three months starting March 6, follows allegations that users in Spain encounter challenges withdrawing consent, and Worldcoin has purportedly gathered data from minors. The AEPD’s move is part of an ongoing investigation into these complaints.

Worldcoin, spearheaded by Tools for Humanity, was founded by Sam Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI. The initiative seeks to establish a “globally inclusive identity and financial network, owned by the majority of humanity,” with a vision of paving the way for AI-funded Universal Basic Income (UBI), as articulated in the Worldcoin white paper.

The AEPD order asserts an inquiry into grievances stating Spanish users can’t withdraw consent, alleging Worldcoin gathered minor data. According to a Microsoft translation:

“The AEPD, which demands the cessation of the collection and processing of special categories of personal data as well as the blocking of those already collected, has received several complaints denouncing, among other aspects, insufficient information, the collection of data from minors or that the withdrawal of consent is not allowed.”

This regulatory intervention by the AEPD closely follows a probe conducted by Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) just over a month ago. In January, the PCPD executed search warrants on Worldcoin’s offices in Hong Kong, expressing concerns about data privacy practices.

At the heart of the controversy surrounding Worldcoin is its utilization of biometric scanning devices known as orbs. Users engage with the service by downloading an app, which directs them to the nearest facility equipped with an “orb.” There, individuals undergo eye scanning, a biometric verification method deemed more accurate than conventional techniques like fingerprinting, as human irises are unique to each person.

Upon successful verification, user identities become linked to their distinct biometric data, which can be independently verified using Worldcoin’s services. As an incentive for signing up and activating their accounts through the WorldApp application, users are rewarded with payments in Worldcoin’s native WLD token.

The Spanish regulatory action underscores global concerns regarding Worldcoin’s data practices, highlighting the delicate balance between technological innovation and privacy rights. Ongoing investigations will shed light on the intersection of cutting-edge technologies, ethical considerations, and compliance with data protection regulations. The outcome will determine the future trajectory of Worldcoin’s operations and its adherence to evolving privacy standards.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

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