France and Germany Regulators Probing Worldcoin Over Data Privacy Concerns

In a recent update, the German regulators joined forces with France to probe the operation of Worldcoin. In an email statement, the French privacy regulators CNIL expressed concern about the controversial project led by the co-founder of OpenAI, Sam Altman.

Worldcoin was first launched by Altman to scan human irises. Lately, the internet has been washed by news concerning Worldcoin as millions of people flock to get signups.

Germany and France Set to Probe Worldcoin

After the scanning phase, the participant is issued a digital passport. Earlier, Altman and team have explained the importance of the World IDs in promoting the growth of the artificial intelligence sector. According to Altman, digital passports will be used to detect humans and robots in the future.

On July 24, the OpenAI team launched the Worldcoin token (WLD) and a distinctive protocol that will support the impending launching of the digital wallet. News concerning the launch of the Worldcoin token has sparked heated debates among the community.

In the context of the CNIL email, the regulators questioned the legality of Worldcoin in storing biometric information. The unanswered questions obliged the CNIL to work with the German Bavarian State Authority to probe the matter.

Surprisingly CNIL regulatory action mirrors British Information Commissioner’s Office (BICO) latest move in probing the controversial crypto project. A report by BICO revealed that the regulators would inquire about Worldcoin data privacy.

In the argument, BICO stressed the need for Worldcoin to undergo Data Protection Impact Assessment before conducting the proposed iris scanning. The regulators confessed that the iris scanning would gather high-risk data, which might violate the law and lead to ethical concerns.

Worldcoin Faces Probe

Earlier, the co-founder of the second largest blockchain Ethereum Vitalik Buterin had announced that the Worldcoin project had four major issues. Buterin lamented that the iris scanner might lead to ethical concerns for exposing individual confidential information to the public. He decried that Worldcoin might disclose individuals’ sex, medical, and ethnicity data to the third party.

Buterin’s statement echoed Pete Howson, a renowned scholar’s who demonstrated the need to improve the data security of Worldcoin. In his report, Howson lamented data violation occurs anytime. And such data breaches affect the quality of life of many. Howson stated that violating Worldcoin biometric data measures could harm the lives of vulnerable communities in developing countries.

Strategies to Improve Worldcoin Data Security

Despite the regulatory pressure, the Worldcoin team has ensured that iris scanning devices are available. The Worldcoin team has situated two biometrics in Britain and Germany.

In a Twitter statement, Altman admitted that the world has positively welcomed Worldcoin. He stated that there are crazy lines everywhere as people avail themselves of the iris scanning.

The executive was pleased to state that the verification process takes eight seconds at most. Even though multitudes have turned up for the Worldcoin registration, the executive confessed that achieving the expected mass adoption might take a little longer.

In his projection, the executive estimated that at the current verification rate, it might take approximately five years to onboard 19.6 million people, constituting 0.00245% of the global population.

Therefore to attain Worldcoin’s ultimate goal of mass adoption, the company would invest in increasing the number of orbs in thriving towns. The investment in orbs aims at increasing the registration number by five times.

Effect of Worldcoin Data Breaches

In a previous statement, the Worldcoin team claimed to comply with the global rules on processing personal data. The report demonstrated that Worldcoin has fully met the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act.

Irrespective of this, Worldcoin plans to cooperate with the regulatory agencies to mull on privacy and data protection matters.

Furthermore, the Worldcoin group confirmed to have undertaken multiple Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) in collaboration with the best-performing Law Information Commission Office (ICO)firm in the UK. The Worldcoin team announced that the DPIA will assist the firm in identifying high-risk data that could compromise biometric data collection. 

The ICO advised Worldcoin to develop clear procedures for processing personal data. The regulators urged Worldcoin to uphold compliance when gathering the biometric data.

The ICO recommended that Worldcoin to seek user consent before collecting the data. Also, the organization requested Worldcoin to enable users to delete personal information anytime.

Editorial credit: Rokas Tenys /

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