Data protection authorities in Kenya, Argentina investigating Worldcoin
Data protection authorities in Kenya and Argentina are examining Worldcoin’s operations to determine if its biometric enrollment process violates national data protection laws.
Kenya’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) says in legal filings that it had issued a directive to Worldcoin to suspend its operation, but the company did not comply, The Star reports. The Ministry of Home Affairs then stepped in to pause Worldcoin enrollments.
The ODPC assessment of Worldcoin began in May of 2022, according to the report.
Deputy Data Commissioner Oscar Otieno alleges the company is likely to alter, erase or further process the data it holds, which includes iris and face biometrics, in violation of the Data Protection Act.
“The expeditious preservation of the personal data from vulnerable loss or modification is imperative to ensure comprehensive investigations on the processing of the personal data by the respondents in Kenya,” he says.
The ODPC is asking Kenya’s High Court to order Worldcoin to preserve the data it has collected from Kenyans while the investigation continues.
Argentina’s Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP) has also announced an investigation into Worldcoin’s handling of protected personal data.
The AAIP wants to ascertain if Worldcoin is complying with the security measures outlined in the country’s Protection of Personal Data law for collection, storage and use of personal data. The regulator has noted the collection of biometrics by Worldcoin in four Argentinian provinces.
The law also requires organizations collecting or processing sensitive data like biometrics to provide clear and accessible information on the purpose of data collection and use.
The AAIP is seeking answers from Worldcoin to an extensive series of questions about whether it has performed a data protection impact assessment, what steps it has taken to comply with Argentina’s data protection law, its purpose for collecting biometric data, and where it is planning to expand the operation of its Orbs to.