French authorities launch probe into Worldcoin over data collection practices
The controversial project has drawn intense criticism over its iris scan technology.
French privacy regulator CNIL has initiated a probe into Worldcoin over concerns that its data collection and storage practices may not be entirely legal, Reuters reported on July 28.
The watchdog is collaborating with its German counterpart as the latter directly oversees the project as its primary European regulator.
The CNIL told the newswire:
“The legality of this collection seems questionable, as do the conditions for storing biometric data.”
The project is also under investigation in the U.K. for similar reasons.
Worldcoin Foundation told CryptoSlate via email:
“The Worldcoin Foundation complies with all laws and regulations governing the processing of personal data in the markets where Worldcoin is available, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”
The foundation added that Worldcoin is under the supervision of the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (Bayerisches Landesamt für Datenschutz) in Europe and is committed to working with regulators around the world to ensure it remains fully compliant.
Worldcoin recently launched its token and the so-called “Orbs” — devices used to scan eyes — on July 24 to collect willing participants’ biometric iris data. People who scan their eyes through the orb get a unique Worldcoin ID and 25 Worldcoin tokens.
Worldcoin founder Sam Altman claimed the project is onboarding roughly eight users per second through the orbs as of July 27.
The project launched 1500 orbs in multiple major cities around the world, including in the U.K., France, and Germany. However, the orbs and the coin have not been launched in the U.S. for now due to a lack of regulatory clarity.
Worldcoin Foundation said it will focus on increasing the orbs in jurisdictions more welcoming toward the crypto industry than those still on the fence.
The project has been gaining steam throughout the second quarter, and the coin’s launch has been well received by most of the crypto community despite the privacy and data concerns around the project.
Meanwhile, network activity has surged since the launch, with transactions hitting an all-time high of 944,668 in a single day on July 27, according to Etherscan data.