July 25, 2023 at 13:03 GMTModified date: July 25, 2023 at 13:03 GMT
July 25, 2023 at 13:03 GMT

UK’s ICO watchdog making enquiries into Worldcoin

According to reports, the Information Commissions Office (ICO), the UK’s data regulator, will be making enquiries into the new Worldcoin.

UK’s ICO watchdog making enquiries into Worldcoin

According to reports, the Information Commissions Office (ICO), the UK’s data regulator, will be looking into Worldcoin.

The new crypto project has been the talk of the town, particularly for its eye-scanning physical ‘orb’ feature. A spokesperson for the ICO revealed that organisations “….need to have a clear lawful basis to process personal data. Where they are relying on consent, this needs to be freely given and capable of being withdrawn without detriment.”

The Worldcoin project is known for being co-founded by the OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, along with Alex Blania. They are of the conviction that: “If successful, we believe Worldcoin could drastically increase economic opportunity, scale a reliable solution for distinguishing humans from AI online while preserving privacy, enable global democratic processes, and eventually show a potential path to AI-funded UBI.”

The project launched its WLD token and mainnet yesterday, 24 July. Its main selling point has been the World ID, which the company describes as a “digital passport” to prove that its holder is a real human, not an AI bot.

This will be achieved through an in-person iris scan using Worldcoin’s ‘orb’, which after verifying whether the person is a real human or not, creates a World ID.

When the World ID project was released back in July, it witnessed a record sign-up of over two million. However, recently, some including Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, have come forward in criticising its certain features. Talking about his scepticism over the iris scans, he said: “At the very least, if someone else scans your iris, they can check it against the database to determine whether or not you have a World ID. Potentially, iris scans might reveal more information.”

The project has also faced regulatory issues in the US. While its new token has been made available in 35 cities across 20 countries, it will not be launched in the US. However, co-founder Altman believes that this would not “make or break a project” like theirs as that is only 95 per cent of the world’s population.

A company spokesperson has also assured that the Worldcoin Foundation adheres to strict privacy guidelines as they “are continuing to assess local laws and regulations to ensure compliance”. Explaining it further, they said: “With regard to GDPR, Worldcoin is fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing biometric data collection and data transfer, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.”

According to the official website, the WLD token will be allocated to users who sign up in some countries. It enjoyed a price hike by over 88% after being listed on multiple crypto exchanges on its launch day. However, at the time of press, it was down by over 15%, changing hands for $2.12, as per CoinGecko.