Legal apprehensions regarding the data gathering methods used by Worldcoin are being expressed by European authorities, including the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) and Germany’s Bavarian state body.
In a communique released on Friday, July 28, CNIL expressed doubts about the lawfulness of the data collection. They raised questions about the circumstances under which biometric data is stored.
Worldcoin, co-founded by Sam Altman of OpenAI, was inaugurated on June 24 with a bold initiative to carry out iris scanning of millions of individuals in 20 nations. These scans would then grant these people a “digital passport” named “World ID” and award them with 25 WLD, the native token of the project.
The goal is to offer individuals a method to affirm their human identity and differentiate themselves from robots as the influence of artificial intelligence amplifies.
Nevertheless, issues related to data privacy, security, and the collection of information have surfaced, prompting inquiries from CNIL, France’s data protection agency.
In addition, CNIL is teaming up with the Bavarian state authority in Germany to tackle these concerns linked to Worldcoin.
Worldcoin Faces Challenges Despite Attracting 2.1 Million Sign-Ups During Trial Period
Worldcoin’s official website reveals that they have accumulated 2.1 million sign-ups during their two-year trial run. Since the formal initiation, the company regularly celebrates on Twitter that a unique human verifies their World ID every 7.6 seconds, setting daily records.
Since their July 24 launch, they have posted pictures of their scanning orbs in global cities such as Seoul, Mexico City, and Paris.
Despite a video shared by co-founder Sam Altman showcasing individuals in Japan queuing to provide iris scans in return for “free” Worldcoin (WLD) tokens, the company struggles to draw in new registrations.
At each of the three designated spots in Hong Kong, only around 200 people registered on the initial day, making a total of 600.
Even though Altman asserts high consumer interest and “wild queues globally,” the figures hint at a gradual trajectory toward broad acceptance.
Nonetheless, Worldcoin has declared its intentions to considerably expand the quantity of orbs in major cities throughout the year, aiming for a five-fold increase in sign-up capacity.
Worldcoin’s Controversial Project Sparks Mixed Reactions and Draws Attention from Regulators
Worldcoin’s project has elicited a range of responses within the crypto community. Some users have voiced worries about its centralized nature, while others perceive the proof-of-personhood as an essential step to confront the expanding influence of AI.
The British Information Commissioner’s Office has affirmed that it is scrutinizing the project, as entities are required to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment when gathering “high-risk” data.
Even leading personalities in the crypto domain, such as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have expressed concerns.
Buterin cautioned that Worldcoin faces “major challenges,” especially the potential inadvertent disclosure of confidential personal details like gender, ethnicity, and possibly medical conditions via iris scans.
In reaction to privacy apprehensions, Worldcoin affirmed its adherence to data protection regulations, including the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act.
The company pledged to collaborate with regulatory authorities concerning privacy and data protection investigations. Worldcoin also referred to a thorough Data Protection Impact Assessment undertaken in the UK with the support of a leading law firm.
Moreover, the company guaranteed that it would swiftly respond to individual requests for the removal of personal data.