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Kenyan Government Bans Worldcoin Amid Data Privacy Concerns

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The Kenyan government has expressed serious concern over the activities of Worldcoin, which has been engaging in the registration of citizens through the collection of iris data. The Kenyan government has banned all activities by the Worldcoin project involving Kenyan citizens.

Worldcoin is an iris biometric cryptocurrency project developed by Tools for Humanity. It was founded in 2019 by Sam Altman, Max Novendstern, and Alex Blania, with backing from VC Andreessen Horowitz. 

The company plans to create a token (WLD) with the aim of driving a unified and equitable global economy based on the Internet economy. 

The token will be a Layer 2 Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, utilizing the security of the Ethereum blockchain while having its own economy. However, it won’t be available in the USA.

According to the Kenya government, security and financial services, along with data protection agencies, have initiated inquiries and investigations to verify the legitimacy and legality of the mentioned activities. 

The focus of these investigations is on the safety and protection of the harvested data and understanding how the data harvesters intend to use it.

The government’s main concern is the safety and protection of the harvested data and understanding the intentions of the data harvesters. 

Given the scale of the operation involving the personal information of many citizens, ensuring public safety and the integrity of financial transactions.

In addition, the government has called on all individuals to abstain from the project or face legal consequences.

UK, France, and Germany 

While Kenya is the first African nation to have raised alarm on Worldcoin activities, the UK, France, and Germany have also expressed concerns about the project during the last week of July 2023.

The UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), started investigating Worldcoin a few days after its launch in July. 

The ICO’s statement emphasized their vigilance in monitoring innovative technologies like Worldcoin to uphold data protection laws and assess potential risks through further inquiries.

In collaboration with Germany, the French privacy watchdog, CNIL, also started investigating Worldcoin on grounds of concerns about its biometric data collection and storage practices, which have raised legal concerns. 

Read also; Worldcoin publishes first security audit report

 

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