Home Blockchain Spain Halts Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Eyeball-Scanning Venture Over Data Concerns

Spain Halts Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Eyeball-Scanning Venture Over Data Concerns

Spain Halts Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Eyeball-Scanning Venture Over Data Concerns

Jimmy Aki

Last updated:

| 2 min read

Worldcoin Spain

Today, Spanish data regulator Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) instructed Sam Altman’s Worldcoin to halt its operations in the country.

This includes stopping the collection of private data through eye scans and ceasing the use of previously gathered data, according to the Financial Times. Spain is the first European country to suspend Worldcoin over privacy concerns.

Spain’s Worldcoin Ban

AEPD director Mar España Martí said the order was communicated to the blockchain firm at the start of the week, but the firm was given 72 hours to demonstrate compliance.

Martí said the AEPD has acted over concerns that the company was collecting data about minors. In addition, the agency said the crypto initiative failed to follow data laws, which gives users greater control over their data.

The AEPD director expects other EU countries to follow suit and kick Worldcoin out of the EU.

“What we have done is raise the alarm in Europe. But this issue affects citizens in all the countries of the European Union,” she said.

She emphasized that this would require coordinated action.

Data laws are taken seriously in Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has reigned supreme since coming into effect in 2018.

Under the GDPR, businesses must ensure data is gathered legally. Those who collect and manage the data are also mandated to protect such data from exploitation. This regulation applies to all businesses domiciled or operating in the EU.

Before the issue with the AEPD, Worldcoin had been engaging with regulators in South Korea and Hong Kong over several privacy infractions. The project has also suspended identity verification in India, Brazil, and France.

WLD Adoption Continues to Rise

Launched in 2023 by Altman and Alex Blania, Worldcoin is a biometric identity verification solution. The solution seeks to create a global identity and financial network that rewards users for verifying their identity.

Worldcoin employs a distinctive signup process involving iris scanning. Upon signup, users must scan their iris using a specialized device called Orb to verify their identity.

The scanned information is used to create an IrisCode, which is then anonymized and stored on the project’s blockchain. Following this process, Worldcoin assigns a unique WorldID to the user based on their IrisCode, and the original iris image is promptly deleted.

Once this process is completed, the user is rewarded with free Worldcoin (WLD) tokens for completing the task.

It’s easy to understand why privacy and financial regulators worldwide are worried about the crypto project.

So far, Worldcoin has accumulated over 2 million users, over 350 active Orbs, and over 18.6 million WLD claimed by users.

Last month, the project announced on its X profile that its mobile wallet application, “World App,” had more than 1M daily users.

The WLD token pumped over 140% in the same week, rising past $6. At press time, WLD prices are down 9% from yesterday’s prices. However, the asset’s trade volume is up 30.7% within 24 hours.

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