South Korea Investigates Worldcoin Over Data Collection Concerns

A South Korean committee overseeing personal information matters has launched an investigation into Worldcoin over concerns regarding the collection and processing of sensitive data, including iris scanning. The probe, initiated by the Personal Information Protection Committee, follows complaints about the digital identity project’s handling of personal information.

The Investigation

A South Korean committee tasked with overseeing personal information matters has launched an investigation into Worldcoin for its collection and processing of sensitive data, including iris scanning.

The investigation, initiated by the Personal Information Protection Committee on February 29 and disclosed through a government notice on Monday, comes in response to complaints regarding the handling of personal information by the digital identity project.

According to the notice, Worldcoin affiliates are currently gathering facial and iris recognition data at approximately 10 locations in Korea. The committee aims to scrutinize the overall collection and international transfer of personal data, with plans to take action if any violations of the Personal Information Protection Act are uncovered.

Privacy Concerns

Worldcoin, spearheaded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has faced mounting privacy concerns worldwide due to its management of biometric data. Regulators in various countries, including Germany, France, and Britain, have launched investigations into the project’s practices related to biometric information.

Most recently, Hong Kong’s data protection authority probed six local Worldcoin booths, with Privacy Commissioner Chung Liling cautioning the public about the risks associated with participating in iris scanning activities.

In December, Worldcoin temporarily halted its orb verification service in India, Brazil, and France, further underscoring the scrutiny surrounding its operations.

Fair Distribution of Grants

Despite these controversies, Worldcoin remains steadfast in its goal to establish a universal basic income system, wherein individuals receive regular cryptocurrency grants as a guaranteed income source. This is facilitated through the use of the “Orb,” a device employed to scan individuals’ eyes and ensure fair distribution of grants.

The Worldcoin Foundation, established with the purported aim of fostering access and participation in the global digital economy while upholding privacy, has defended its practices.

Four Million Signups

“Worldcoin does not seek to know who a person is, just that they are human and unique. As such, any information used to verify unique humanness is promptly deleted by default,” a spokesperson said. The project encourages regulators and consumers to seek information or clarifications about the programs it offers, they said.

Nevertheless, despite the contentious nature of its operations, Worldcoin has managed to amass over 3.9 million sign-ups as of early March, with over 450,000 average daily wallet transactions.

Author: Simeon

Simeon is a seasoned crypto writer with a passion for exploring the fascinating world of blockchain and digital currencies. With a background in finance and technology, Simeon brings a unique perspective to his writing, delving into the complexities of decentralized finance, cryptocurrency trading, and emerging blockchain projects.