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Worldcoin Under Investigation in 8 Countries

Worldcoin Under Investigation in 8 Countries (Pic by Anja on Pixabay)

The South Korean authority regulating the handling of personal data joins the bodies investigating that company. So far, only Kenya has suspended Worldcoin’s activities.

Worldcoin Under Investigation in 8 Countries. The controversial project that gives a handful of tokens to users who verify their humanity by scanning their irises, is already under investigation by authorities in at least eight countries worldwide, most recently joining South Korea. In a statement, the Personal Information Protection Commission of the Asian country indicated that since last Thursday, February 29, they started investigations on Worldcoin in response to a series of complaints related to collecting and processing personal information.

According to the South Korean authority, there are at least ten places in that country where people have their irises scanned through Orbs. The Worldcoin personnel provided this information to that government entity. However, the official Worldcoin website does not list South Korea as one of the countries with operating Orbs.

Accordingly, the Commission plans to investigate collecting and processing confidential information. They’re also investigating the transfer of personal data abroad. The investigation is under South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act. The Personal Information Protection Commission further notified that they would take action according to relevant laws and regulations if they identify any violation.

Focus on Worldcoin

Along with South Korea, eight more countries are focusing on Worldcoin and its particular way of verifying whether a user is a person or a bot, which it does through iris scanning. This practice raises privacy alarms because it is highly personal data and could lend itself to identity fraud. According to computer engineer and cybersecurity specialist José Alejandro Casamitjana, scanning the iris “has the same danger as copying the ID card” since it is a unique and unalterable piece of data, which, when transferred, control over it is lost.

Since Worldcoin launched in the middle of last year, information and personal data regulatory authorities in France, Germany, the UK, Kenya, Nigeria, Argentina, Spain, and South Korea have been investigating in detail what the project is doing with users’ biometric data. So far, only Kenya has suspended Worldcoin’s activities. The African country’s Ministry of Interior decided to ban the project’s operations due to concerns over data privacy and security risks for Kenyans.

Before South Korea, Spain was the last country to announce investigations into Worldcoin precisely because of the iris scanning issue. The data protection agency confirmed four complaints regarding handling information by the cryptocurrency project they were addressing.

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