The French regulatory body, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL), has expressed concerns about the legality of Worldcoin’s techniques for collecting biometric data. In addition to probing the validity of its data gathering practices, CNIL is also examining the manner in which this biometric data is stored. Importantly, Worldcoin has accumulated this data from over two million participants involved in its project.
French Regulator CNIL Casts Doubt on Worldcoin’s Biometric Data Preservation
Worldcoin made its debut just last Monday, and the project appears to be gaining traction and popularity based on the accessible data and footage of people signing up. CNIL revealed to Reuters through an email correspondence that it was scrutinizing the methods Worldcoin used to collect data and had commenced investigations. “The legality of this collection appears dubious, as do the circumstances of storing the biometric data,” CNIL conveyed to the news outlet.
Before rolling out its worldcoin (WLD) token, Worldcoin claimed it had already registered over 2 million users. Currently, there are more than 300,000 WLD token owners, and on July 29, 2023, WLD recorded over 1 million transactions. Also, Sam Altman, the CEO of Openai and co-founder of Worldcoin, shared a video showcasing Worldcoin registrants lining up for iris scans and mentioned that someone was being scanned “every 8 seconds.”
Before Worldcoin’s unveiling, the project faced criticism, with an article from MIT Technology Review listing allegations of deception and exploitation. Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor and whistleblower, lambasted the iris scanning initiative in October 2021, advising Altman to refrain from recording people’s eyeballs. CNIL revealed to Reuters that it had begun investigating Worldcoin.
CNIL also indicated that it is working alongside Bavarian authorities to scrutinize Worldcoin’s data collection methods. Responding to a request for comment about the investigation from Reuters, the Worldcoin Foundation stated that it is subject to the regulations of the European Union and Bavarian authorities such as the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision. “[Worldcoin] is engineered to safeguard individual privacy and has constructed a strong privacy program,” the Worldcoin Foundation said in its email.
Moreover, the organization stressed that the project complies with all laws and regulations in every jurisdiction where Worldcoin operates. “The project will continue to collaborate with regulatory authorities regarding requests for additional information about its privacy and data protection practices,” added the Worldcoin Foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Worldcoin’s Biometric Data Practices
What regulatory body has expressed concerns about Worldcoin’s biometric data collection techniques?
The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) in France has raised concerns about the legality of Worldcoin’s methods for collecting and storing biometric data.
Who is the CEO of Openai and co-founder of Worldcoin?
Sam Altman is the CEO of Openai and the co-founder of Worldcoin.
What were the criticisms faced by Worldcoin prior to its launch?
Before its launch, Worldcoin was accused of deception and exploitation, as reported by an article from MIT Technology Review. Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor and whistleblower, also criticized the company’s iris scanning initiative.
How did the Worldcoin Foundation respond to the investigation?
The Worldcoin Foundation, responding to the investigation, stated that they comply with all the regulations of the European Union and Bavarian authorities. They also emphasized their commitment to safeguarding individual privacy and pledged to cooperate with regulatory authorities for any additional information requests about their privacy and data protection practices.
How many users had Worldcoin reportedly registered before the launch of its WLD token?
Worldcoin claimed to have registered over two million users prior to the launch of its WLD token.
More about Worldcoin’s Biometric Data Practices
- National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL)
- MIT Technology Review article on Worldcoin
- Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision
- Edward Snowden’s Criticism of Worldcoin