French Authorities Probes Worldcoin for Data Collection Practices

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Key takeaways:

  • The French privacy regulator is investigating Worldcoin because of suspicions that the company’s method for gathering and storing data may be unlawful.
  • Reuters also stated that Worldcoin might be the subject of inquiries from British data regulators after its launch.

The legality of Worldcoin’s data-gathering practices is being contested by France’s data protection regulator, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) in France.

According to a Reuters article, Worldcoin is being investigated by the French privacy regulator CNIL because of suspicions that the company’s methods for gathering and storing data may not be totally lawful. CNIL stated the following in a July 28 email to Reuters:

“The legality of this collection seems questionable, as do the conditions for storing biometric data.”

Additionally, CNIL reported that it had launched an investigation and had been assisting the German state agency for Bavaria in its efforts to look into the situation. On July 25, Reuters also stated that Worldcoin might be the subject of inquiries from UK data regulators after its launch.

On June 24, Worldcoin was introduced by OpenAI, the firm that created the well-known ChatGPT AI chatbot. In order to receive a digital ID and free cryptocurrency, individuals must submit an iris scan to the program.

Although most of them did so during the project’s testing stage over the course of the previous two years, 2.1 million people have already registered with it, according to the company’s website. In a message on Twitter (now X), the business asserted that since its official launch:

“a unique human is now verifying their World ID every 7.6 seconds & new records are being set daily.”

Since its July 24 introduction, Worldcoin has shared images on Twitter of its orbs in numerous locations around the globe, including Seoul, Mexico City, and Paris.

Despite the hoopla, the cryptocurrency community has had a split opinion on Worldcoin. Some users drew attention to centralization’s possible downsides, while others asserted that the rise of AI makes proof-of-personhood imperative.

According to additional sources, Worldcoin has had trouble attracting new sign-ups since its introduction, with the three designated venues in Hong Kong only receiving about 200 sign-ups on the first day and a total of 600 overall.

Sam Altman, a co-founder, refuted the allegations the following day by sharing a video of a large queue of individuals in Japan waiting to complete iris scans.

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