Worldcoin, Sam Altman in the sights of the European authorities

Worldcoin, the project led by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, is now under investigation by German and French data protection authorities. This is due to its biometric data collection practices.

Bavarian concerns over Worldcoin practices

Worldcoin collects iris data from users in exchange for digital identification and, in some regions, free cryptocurrency. According to the company, this data will be used to create a new “identity and financial network”. We recently told you about the banning of Kenya…. and many others data protection authorities in several countries are concerned about how these data will be used.

With this in mind, theBavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision opened an investigation into Worldcoin in December 2022. The regulator said it was concerned that Worldcoin was processing sensitive data on a very large scale.

The CNIL is also asking questions

The French data protection regulator, the CNIL, also expressed concern about the practices of Worldcoin.

A CNIL spokesperson said questioned the legality of data collection and storage methods from Worldcoin. In particular, his practice of scanning retinas to prevent individuals from claiming crypto rewards more than once..

La CNIL declared that Worldcoin had not provided sufficient information on how it collects, uses and stores users’ iris data. The agency also stated that Worldcoin’s terms of use were “too vague and evasive”. In fact, it is not clear whether users really consent to the collection of their biometric data.

The CNIL has given Worldcoin two months to respond to its concerns. If the company does not comply, the CNIL may take further action. These will range from imposing fines to prohibiting Worldcoin from collecting biometric data in France.

Worldcoin responds to concerns and questions

Worldcoin said it was taking data protection concerns seriously and would work with regulators to answer their questions. The company also clarified that its data was stored securely and would not be used for advertising or profiling purposes.

It remains to be seen how the investigation by the data protection authorities will proceed, and whether Worldcoin will be allowed to continue operating. However, the case has raised important questions about the risks associated with the collection of biometric data…