Data regulators from France and Germany are collaborating to examine the data collection techniques of Worldcoin, specifically zeroing in on its use of iris scans.
The French Data Protection Authority, CNIL, has recently turned its attention to Worldcoin, conducting an inquiry at the company’s Paris-based office this week. This makes Worldcoin the latest cryptocurrency platform to come under rigorous regulatory oversight in the European Union.
Initially flagged by CNIL in July, the spotlight has been on Worldcoin’s data-gathering techniques. The main issue of concern is whether the platform’s collection of iris scans for digital identification is compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Worldcoin, co-founded by prominent figures like OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, has been open to dialogues about its technology. However, CNIL’s actions underscore that the EU is prepared to stringently enforce its data protection laws.
The investigation is not solely a CNIL initiative; it’s being amplified by a partnership with the Bavarian Data Protection Authority. This collective effort underlines a broader international resolve to maintain uniform data protection standards.
Controversially, Worldcoin mandates iris scans from users for digital identification and, in some cases, alternative digital currencies. According to the company, they have registered over 2.1 million people, mainly during testing phases over the last two years.
In a statement to Reuters, the Worldcoin Foundation said, “The team at Worldcoin welcomes any opportunity to address questions regarding the project’s purpose and technology.”
For Worldcoin, which prioritizes security as a fundamental goal, the ongoing investigation serves as a critical litmus test. Not only for the platform itself but also as a potential indicator for the broader cryptocurrency sector.
As the probe continues, Worldcoin faces a pivotal moment. Its ability to adapt its data management practices to align with the EU’s rigorous legal requirements could well determine its future and perhaps set a benchmark for the industry.