The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has today 6th March 2024 ordered Tools for Humanity Corporation to ceases the collection and processing of personal data being carrying out in Spain in its framework called Worldcoin project, and to block the data already collected. It is stated that AEPD has received several complaints against Tools of Humanity Corporation also trading as Worldcoin regarding providing insufficient information before processing personal data, collecting data from minors and lack or mechanism to allow data subjects withdrawn their consent among other infringements.

The AEPD has stated that the processing of biometric data which is categorized as sensitive personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) merits special protection and continue processing of the same by Worldcoin poses a high risk to the rights of data subjects in Spain.

The AEPD has taken this precautionary measure as a necessary and proportionate step aimed at the immediate cessation of continued processing of personal data, preventing possible transfer of the already collected data to third parties and to safeguard the fundamental right of protection of personal data of Spain citizens.

It is further stated that Tools for Humanity Corporation (Worldcoin) has its principal establishment in Germany and no physical location in Spain. This action by the Spanish regulator is based on its mandate under Article 66.1 of the GDPR which mandate the regulator, in exceptional circumstances and where it considers it urgent to intervene to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals, to adopt provisional measures with legal effects in its territory and with a period not exceed three months.

This new development and setback to Worldcoin comes few months after the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) Kenya stopped the same company from continuing its processing operations in Kenya for violating Kenya’s Data Protection Act and its regulations.

According to the ODPC, whereas Tools for Humanity Corporation had fulfilled the requirements and was duly registered as a data controller around April 2023, WorldCoin Foundation which assumed the operations of TFH had not thus WorldCoin Foundation was in breach of Section 18(1) of the Data Protection Act for collecting personal data from individuals without proper registration.

The ODPC also faulted WorldCoin’s for failure to submit a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) and failure to acquired express, unequivocal, free, specific and informed consent from Kenyan citizens before collecting their personal data. It was further faulted for unlawfully transferrin Data outside Kenya

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