The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner had instructed Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools for Humanity, to stop collecting personal data months before Kenya finally outlawed iris scans by Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency venture.
According to a letter sent to Worldcoin and seen by TechCrunch, the ODPC had directed the cryptocurrency company to halt iris scans, the collecting of facial recognition data, and other personal information in Kenya in May of this year.
Worldcoin’s developer, Tools for Humanity, continued to collect biometric information up until the beginning of this month when Kenya’s more powerful Ministry of Interior and Administration suspended it after the project’s official launch.
In response to the formal introduction of Worldcoin, a surge in the number of persons waiting in queue to have their eyes scanned in exchange for “free money” caught the attention of law enforcement.
According to the letter, ODPC has ordered Worldcoin to stop gathering data for violating people’s privacy by collecting biometric information without a solid and convincing basis.
Additionally, it said that Worldcoin’s agents had failed to adequately notify their subjects about the data security and privacy precautions they had implemented as well as how the data acquired would be utilised or processed before scanning their irises.
“Your client is hereby instructed to cease the collection of all facial recognition data and iris scans, from your subscribers. This cessation should be implemented without delay and should include all ongoing and future data processing activities,” said Rose Mosero, in a letter to Tools for Humanity that outlined the concerns to their lawyer.
In a fresh petition submitted to the High Court by the data protection authority, details of the ODPC’s attempt to stop the gathering of biometric data have been revealed.
Worldcoin asserts that by using iris scans performed by “Orb,” its own cryptocurrency “WLD,” and spherical scanners to “verify your World ID,” it is building a new “human identity (World ID) and financial network.”
Kenya was among the first nations where Worldcoin started accepting signups and was one of the top markets for adoption. Locals who had received the tokens could sell them for USDT (the stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar) on cryptocurrency exchanges or to “brokers” in exchange for cash after the global official launch at the end of July.