Sam Altman’s Crypto Project Worldcoin’s Data Handling Under Scrutiny By Argentine Govt

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Key Takeaways

  • AAIP is probing Worldcoin’s collection, storage, and utilization of customer data.
  • The Argentine government has pledged to take appropriate actions if any issues are uncovered during the probe.

Privacy concerns have cast a shadow over Worldcoin, the blockchain initiative led by Sam Altman of OpenAI, prompting multiple countries to investigate its handling of personal data. The Argentine government is the latest to join the fray, as it probes the project’s data management practices following a complaint by Daniel Monastersky, a cybersecurity expert and partner at Data Governance Latam.

Monastersky’s complaint, filed with Argentina’s Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP), highlights potential risks tied to Worldcoin’s request for users’ biometric data, a move that has ignited fears of privacy breaches.

The AAIP, a data regulatory body, issued a statement on August 8, confirming its examination of Worldcoin’s collection, storage, and utilization of customer data. The focus of the investigation is to ensure that Worldcoin adheres to the stipulated security and privacy regulations.

A core concern highlighted by Monastersky’s complaint is the potential for unchecked access to sensitive biometric data, which could lead to violations of user privacy, unethical data practices, and even unauthorized data breaches.

Adding to the apprehension is Worldcoin’s biometric data disclaimer, which has triggered worries about users’ lack of control over the eventual use of their sensitive information.

Responding to these concerns, the AAIP has reached out to the Worldcoin Foundation, seeking assurances regarding the safeguarding of privacy for Argentinian participants. The AAIP has invoked the mandates of the Personal Data Protection Act, requiring the foundation to register, disclose data handling protocols, clarify data collection purposes, and outline data retention policies.

Additionally, the foundation must provide insights into the security measures in place to protect the personal data of Argentinian citizens. The Argentine government has pledged to take appropriate actions if any issues are uncovered during the investigation, ensuring that Worldcoin aligns with both security and privacy standards.

These worries extend beyond Argentina’s borders. The Information Commissioner’s Office in the United Kingdom is also examining similar concerns. Reports reveal that French privacy watchdog National Commission of Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) and Germany’s Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision have questioned the legality of Worldcoin’s biometric data collection, prompting their respective investigations.

In a related move, Kenya suspended Worldcoin’s operations in response to parallel privacy concerns.  Worldcoin, introduced by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in July 2023, utilizes iris scanning through a device known as an “Orb” for user verification.

As a reward for proof, users receive 25 units of the project’s native cryptocurrency, WLD. According to the official website, over 300 global locations offer Orbs, with approximately 2.2 million individuals already registered within the system.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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