Portugal Directs Altman’s Worldcoin to Cease Biometric Data Collection

Portugal Directs Altman’s Worldcoin to Cease Biometric Data Collection

On March 26, Portugal’s data supervisory body instructed Worldcoin, Sam Altman’s iris-scanning initiative, to cease biometric data collection for 90 days. This is the most recent blow to a scheme that has evoked privacy issues across several nations. 

Worldcoin entices individuals to scan their faces using the ‘orb’ devices. In exchange, they receive free cryptocurrency and digital ID. The cryptocurrency project’s website reveals that more than 4.5 million persons across 120 nations have signed up. 

Worldcoin to Comply with Cease Order from Portugal’s Data Regulator

Portugal data regulator said there was a significant danger to citizens’ information protection rights, which evoked the need for instant intervention to avert grave harm. Besides, the CNPD,said that more than 300,000 persons in the nation have offered biometric data to Worldcoin.

According to the regulator, several protests have been received in the past month concerning the unapproved gathering of data from minors, ‘the unlikelihood of withdrawing consent or deleting the information,’ and ‘deficits in the data offered to the data subjects.’ 

Jack Preiwisch, Worldcoin Foundation’s data protection officer, revealed that Worldcoin ‘fully complied with all guidelines and laws concerning the gathering and transfer of biometric information.’

In an emailed statement, Preiwisch said that the CNPD report is the first time they have heard from them concerning most issues, including reports regarding underage signups nationwide. Further, he claimed they do not tolerate such activities and are seeking to address them. 

Worldcoin said that in March, it initiated a transition to ‘Personal Custody’ to offer users control over their information, including erasure and any future utilization. According to the CNPD, the order to cease the collection of data was provisional as it did further due diligence and evaluated grievances during a probe. 

Worldcoin Battles Regulators’ Scrutiny into Privacy Issues 

Worldcoin claims it seeks to develop an ‘identity and financial network.’ According to Altman, people must demonstrate that they are humans in a world controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). He is OpenAI’s chief executive officer and the co-founder of the firm behind Worldcoin.

Worldcoin is being investigated in several nations, and private campaigners have condemned it for gathering private information. Big Brother Watch, a United Kingdom campaign group, claimed that after Worldcoin’s unveiling, there was a danger of biometric information being hacked or leveraged. 

Madeleine Stone, a senior advocacy officer, added that digital ID systems’ seldom live up to the exceptional benefits technocrats prefer attributing to them.’ 

In response to grievances earlier in March, Spain’s data collection authority gave a three-month ban on the project. In August, Kenya halted its activities. The Bavarian state regulator has claimed it is the primary authority probing Worldcoin under the EU’s data protection guidelines. This is because Tools for Humanity, the firm behind Worldcoin, owns a German subsidiary there.

The CNPD’s suspension is linked to the Worldcoin Foundation. This Cayman Islands entity is described as ‘memberless’ on its website since it lacks shareholders or owners. According to the Worldcoin Foundation’s website, it is the sole director and member of World Assets Ltd, a British Virgin Islands firm tasked with issuing the Worldcoin tokens granted to persons who sign up. 

According to the CNPD, its verdict was directed to the Worldcoin Foundation since the entity is the biometric data’s data controller. a16z crypto and Bain Capital Crypto are examples of famous venture capital brands supporting Worldcoin. 

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Eric Lozano
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Eric Lozano

Eric Lozano, a notable expert in crypto journalism, possesses a keen eye for blockchain trends and digital currency analysis. His articles delve deep, elucidating complex crypto topics with precision and flair. As the crypto realm expands, Eric remains an influential and trusted voice for enthusiasts and professionals alike

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