Kenya’s parliamentary committee has advised Kenyan authorities to take action by shutting down Worldcoin’s virtual platforms and conducting a thorough investigation into the company.
The iris biometric cryptocurrency project Worldcoin has recently come under the scanner as the parliamentary committee of the government in Kenya is now investigating the project. The committee has asked regulators to shut down the project’s operations in the country.
As per the report released last week on September 30 by Kenya’s parliament, Worldcoin has started collecting the personal data of Kenya’s residents. this was in complete disregard of an ‘order to stop’ issued earlier in May 2023. The committee has advised Kenyan authorities to take action by shutting down Worldcoin’s virtual platforms and conducting a thorough investigation into the company for possible criminal charges.
The report noted:
“The registration of Kenyans by Worldcoin online App is still going on despite the pendency of a court order and other administrative directions halting the same in entirety.”
The report raised privacy concerns for Kenyan residents but acknowledged the challenge of determining the number of “orbs” in the country – the devices Worldcoin uses for iris scans. The committee’s suggestions encompass the government’s potential adoption of a comprehensive framework for digital assets and virtual asset service providers in Kenya, as well as the revision of existing regulations to address cybercrimes and tax reporting obligations.
The Kenyan lawmakers further added:
“The unregulated adoption and use of cryptocurrency as an attempt to fully decentralize the global monetary systems, poses threat to statehood.”
Worldcoin Under Regulatory Radar in Kenya and Other Countries
Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project, which aimed to differentiate genuine users from bots through retinal scans for identity verification, garnered millions of sign-ups by July. Nevertheless, the project has come under the scrutiny of global regulators who allege that it is bypassing regulations and standards related to data protection and user privacy.
Officials in Germany, Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom have expressed concerns about Worldcoin or initiated investigations into its operations. In August, Argentina’s Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP) announced that they were looking into the storage, collection, as well as use of user data at Worldcoin.
The AAIP noted that the project gained significant attention in recent weeks for its practice of scanning the faces and irises of numerous individuals in exchange for financial compensation at various locations in Buenos Aires City and the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, and Río Negro.
Despite these warnings, Worldcoin has continued to see record daily sign-ups in Argentina, as per the report earlier this month.