Concerned over data privacy, Kenyan authorities have ordered cryptocurrency project worldcoin to stop signing up new users in Kenya
Launched by OpenAI founder Sam Altman’, ‘worldcoin’, an eyeball scanning cryptocurrency project giving away nearly $49 (14,000 PKR) worth of cryptocurrency in exchange for a simple eye scan, has gained quite the hype in low-income countries.
Recently opening up its registration centers in Kenya, worldcoin received an overwhelming response, with thousands of people lined up, waiting to get their eyeballs scanned in exchange for money.
Worldcoin: How Kenyans are scanning their eyes to register to get Ksh.7K pic.twitter.com/UdlpqX119y
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) August 1, 2023
The Kenyan government, who had previously warned its citizens to be cautious while providing data to private companies, eventually went on to suspend worldcoin registrations over data privacy concerns.
As per the Communications Authority of Kenya, the government was concerned about giving away so much data into the hands of private company, was also concerned over the money being paid in exchange for data and had questions over the way biometric data was stored.
Following the suspension, the Communications Authority of Kenya is now investigating worldcoin, calling on data protection and security services to report back on the project’s legality and authenticity.
Worldcoin, who has been planting its eye-scanning machines all over the world, was patient about the suspension, saying that it will now be introducing some crowd-control measures and will also collaborate with the government before it continues registrations.
Claiming to create the “world’s largest identity and financial network”, worldcoin has been facing a lot of questions over its money-offering eyeball scans, with a lot of confusion around its plans on using the data its working so hard to collect.
“We are creating the world’s largest identity and financial network as a public utility, giving ownership to everyone. And establishing universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background,” says the worldcoin website.
Project founder ‘Sam Altman’ says that the project will help confirm between a human and robot, while also saying that it might lead to everyone being paid a universal basic income.
Amidst all the confusion, privacy experts are concerned over the transfer of such a large amount of sensitive data into the hands of a private company.