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French Privacy Watchdog Launches Investigation into Worldcoin



The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL), France’s privacy watchdog, has taken action against the cryptocurrency platform Worldcoin, initiating an investigation into its biometric data collection and storage practices. 

Details of the report show that the focus of the investigation centers on Worldcoin’s biometric data collection and storage methods, which CNIL has flagged as legally “problematic.” 

As the cryptocurrency world undergoes rapid expansion, data privacy, and security have emerged as critical issues, prompting regulators to closely examine platforms like Worldcoin.

CNIL’s investigation aims to assess whether Worldcoin’s practices align with existing privacy regulations. Depending on its findings, the inquiry could lead to necessary changes in how the platform collects and stores user data. 

Given the prevalence of biometric data collection in the platform’s registration process, the outcome of this investigation could have broader implications for other cryptocurrency companies utilizing similar data collection methods.

Worldcoin, co-founded by ChatGPT-founder Sam Altman’s brainchild, made its debut on Monday. The platform offers users the opportunity to obtain a digital ID and, in some countries, free cryptocurrency in exchange for providing their iris scans. 

According to the company’s website, it has already registered 2.1 million users, primarily during a trial period spanning the last two years. Worldcoin has set up registration centers across the globe, where individuals can undergo face scans using a shiny spherical “orb.” 

However, critics have expressed reservations about this biometric data collection process, prompting not only CNIL but also Britain’s data regulator to take an interest in investigating the platform post-launch.

In response to a query from Reuters, CNIL stated that the legality of Worldcoin’s biometric data collection practices appears questionable, and it promptly initiated the investigation. 

Subsequently, it was revealed that the Bavarian state authority in Germany holds jurisdiction over the matter. The investigation is now underway, with support from CNIL.

As the investigation progresses, the cryptocurrency community and users around the world will keenly observe its outcome. Privacy concerns are at the forefront of the digital era, and the findings could shape the future practices of companies operating in the cryptocurrency landscape. 

The case of Worldcoin serves as a stark reminder of the importance of data protection and adherence to privacy regulations within the fast-evolving world of cryptocurrencies.

Read also; Why the court must dismiss CFTC’s claims against Binance and its CEO

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