Crypto Updates

Portugal Demands Halt To Biometric Data Collection


In a recent development, Portugal’s data regulator, the National Commission for the Protection of Data, also known as the CNPD, has issued an order to stop Sam Altman’s iris scanning project, Worldcoin, from collecting biometric data for 90 days. 

Worldcoin’s Compliance Under Fire

According to a Reuters report, the CNPD’s suspension specifically targets the Worldcoin Foundation, a memberless entity based in the Cayman Islands, described on its website as the sole member and director of World Assets Ltd, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands responsible for issuing Worldcoin tokens to sign-up participants.

The CNPD cited an alleged “high risk” to citizens’ data protection rights as the main reason for its urgent intervention. The regulator expressed concerns about the “unauthorized” collection of data from minors, the lack of information provided to data subjects, and the inability to delete data or withdraw consent. 

The halt order also noted that over 300,000 individuals in Portugal had provided their biometric data to Worldcoin, leading to numerous complaints being lodged with the CNPD.

Jannick Preiwisch, the data protection officer at the Worldcoin Foundation, responded to the CNPD’s order by stating that Worldcoin is “fully compliant” with all laws and regulations about biometric data collection and transfer. Preiwisch emphasized the company’s zero-tolerance policy for underage sign-ups and its commitment to addressing any reported incidents.

Worldcoin has recently transitioned to “Personal Custody,” aiming to give users control over their data, including options for deletion and future use. The CNPD’s order to stop data collection is considered temporary, allowing for additional due diligence and analysis of complaints during the ongoing investigation.

Privacy Storm Engulfs Worldcoin

The Regulatory scrutiny of Worldcoin extends beyond Portugal. As NewsBTC reported, Spain’s data protection watchdog issued a three-month ban earlier this month in response to privacy complaints, and Kenya suspended Worldcoin’s operations in August 2023. 

Moreover, the Bavarian State Regulatory Authority, acting as the lead authority in southeastern Germany, is currently investigating Worldcoin under European Union data protection rules due to the presence of a German subsidiary owned by Tools For Humanity, the company behind Worldcoin.

As the investigation into Worldcoin’s data…

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