Italy’s Data Protection Authority “Garante Per La Protezione Dei Dati Personali” on 21st March 2024 warned Worldcoin over a possible violation of the country’s data protection laws including the general EU Regulation. In a warning letter addressed to Worldcoin Foundation, an entity that supports the Worldcoin project launched by openAI CEO, the Regulator has warned that Worldcoin project which is intended to create a World ID (unique globally identification code for each individual and which is capable of distinguishing real human beings from artificial intelligence products) and a financial network based on the WLD cryptocurrency on a global level, if allowed to land in Italy would violate the country’s data privacy regulations in the following ways:

  • There is insufficient information about the project available to the local citizens in order for them to consent to the processing of their personal biometric data and as such Worldcoin cannot rely on consent as a valid legal basis for processing such sensitive personal data.
  • The promise to receive free WLD tokens (cryptocurrencies) from Worldcoin once a participant’s biometric data including iris screening is taken, will negatively affects the possibility of expressing free and unconditional consent to the processing of biometric data. This means that the tokens offer are enticing participants and interferes with their capacity to exercise independent judgement and give full and informed decision/consent.
  • There are no filters to prevent access to Orbs (biometric devices used in scanning the face and iris of participants) by minors under the age of 18 years. Meaning that the processing of biometric data will be carried out on everyone irrespective of age and proper consent being obtained.
  • Even though Worldcoin project is not authorized in Italy, citizens are already downloading the World App from App stores and provide their sensitive personal data in exchange for free WLD tokens not knowing the glaring risks associated with the project.

This new development is a further setback to Worldcoin which has already received similar warnings and sanctions from a number of Regulators in several countries including Kenya. This therefore shows how regulators have taken seriously the issue of data protection and calls for all entities involved in processing personal data to act swiftly and comply with domestic data protection laws and regulations.

For more info on data protection please contact us on or +254794600191

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