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HomeLaw & PoliticsKenyan Parliamentary Committee Recommends Shutdown of Worldcoin Operations

Kenyan Parliamentary Committee Recommends Shutdown of Worldcoin Operations

A parliamentary committee in Kenya’s government, tasked with investigating Worldcoin, has issued a recommendation to regulators to shut down the project’s operations within the country. According to a report released on September 30 by Kenya’s parliament, Worldcoin has been persistently collecting personal data from Kenyan residents “in total disregard” of a court order issued in May, potentially including data from minors. The committee has called for Kenyan authorities to “disable the virtual platforms” of Worldcoin and investigate its associated companies for possible criminal charges.

The report highlights that despite the court order and administrative directives to cease, Worldcoin’s online app is still registering Kenyan citizens. This ongoing data collection has raised significant privacy concerns for Kenyan residents. The report also noted the difficulty in ascertaining the number of “orbs” in the country, which are the devices used by Worldcoin for iris scans to verify user identities.

As part of its recommendations, the committee has urged the government to consider implementing a comprehensive framework for digital assets and virtual asset service providers in Kenya. They also suggest amending existing regulations to address cybercrimes and tax reporting requirements more effectively.

Worldcoin, initially launched with the aim of distinguishing real individuals from bots online by utilizing retinal scans for identity verification, garnered millions of sign-ups by July. However, the project has attracted the attention of regulators worldwide, who have voiced concerns that it may be circumventing regulations and guidelines related to data protection and user privacy.

Several other countries, including Germany, Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom, have either raised concerns about Worldcoin or initiated inquiries into its activities. This global scrutiny reflects the growing importance of regulating emerging digital identity and cryptocurrency initiatives to protect user data and privacy. The outcome of the Kenyan parliamentary committee’s recommendations may have significant implications for Worldcoin’s operations within the country and its broader international reputation.

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